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tv   America This Morning  ABC  December 24, 2020 4:30am-5:00am PST

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>> and that's what is making news in america this morning. right now on "america this morning," a second round of pardons sending shock waves through washington. president trump pardoning dozens of convicted criminals overnight including key players in the russia investigation, plus how a new veto from trump could set the stage for upheaval in the senate. will congress overturn his decision? travel rush fears. the record number of americans on the move amid the pandemic. what it could mean for hospitals across the country and why doctors warn you still may be at risk even if you've already had the virus. deadly christmas storm. blizzard conditions sweeping the midwest right now causing hundreds of accidents. cities from the gulf coast to the northeast now bracing
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for a messy holiday. where the storm is headed. plus, pricey parties. how sports teams are cracking down on players who ignore covid rules. a whiff of home. the gift that could be a breath of fresh air to anyone feeling homesick this holiday season. and the heartfelt message from one little girl during a covid christmas. good thursday morning, everyone. i'm mona kosar abdi. >> and i'm will reeve in for kenneth. we begin with president trump unleashing more chaos in the final weeks of his administration. overnight the president arrived at mar-a-lago for the holidays after issuing a new round of pardons for more convicted felons and throwing a wrench in the covid relief package. >> the president also vetoed a bipartisan defense spending bill so popular it passed with a huge majority in both chambers. now the stage is set for a possible override, which would be the first of his presidency. for the very latest, abc's faith abubey joins us live from washington.
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good morning, faith. >> reporter: hey, good morning, mona and will. president trump has been threatening for months now to veto this national defense bill even though it has overwhelming support, bipartisan support here on capitol hill. now, president trump not only objects to language in the bill that allows renaming military bases that honor confederate leaders, but he's also claiming that this bill is a gift to russia and china, plus trump is also calling for a new and unrelated provision to be added to end protection for social media companies. another major funding bill hangs in the balance. the new covid-19 passed with a clear super majority, but trump left for florida without signing it. the president suggested on tuesday that he would veto that bill unless stimulus checks were boosted to $2,000. well, politicians on both sides of the aisle are now pointing out, it took six months to come up with a current compromise leaving many wondering why trump didn't say something sooner. >> i don't know where president
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trump has been for the last eight months. he's right. $600 is a joke. >> they didn't get any feedback from the president. people are hurting right now. >> reporter: well, today house democrats are planning to call a vote on a stand-alone bill based on president trump's proposal for increased payments. the move would force republicans to go on the record to reject more stimulus payments and also to oppose president trump. >> now, faith, if the house comes to an agreement on a revised stimulus package later today, what comes next? >> reporter: a completely new bill is really unlikely to pass the u.s. senate, but even if it does, president trump still has the power to either approve this bill or veto it. what's different now from earlier in the week is that there's something called a pocket veto. because congress must adjourn on january 3rd, the session would end before the bill's ten-day review period is up, so that means this bill will not get a chance to become law automatically, and congress will
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not have a chance to override a trump veto, guys. >> faith abubey, thanks. next to the latest round of pardons from president trump clearing the records of 26 more convicted criminals. among them, republican operative roger stone. the president had already commuted stone's sentence for lying to congress, obstructing justice and witness tampering all linked to the russia investigation. trump granted a pardon to his 2016 campaign chairman, paul manfort, also caught up in the mueller probe and sentenced to seven years. there's the father of the president's son-in-law. in 2005 jared kushner's father charles kushner pled guilty to tax evasion, witness tampering and making illegal campaign contributions. georgia's secretary of state has joined fellow republicans in a new push to do away with no excuse absentee voting. brad raffensperger said allowing voters to request mail-in ballots without a reason opens the door to potential illegal voting but he still insists most of the 2020 election fraud
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claims were unfounded. we turn now to the race -- to the latest on the race to vaccinate america. more than a million people here in the u.s. have taken the first dose of the covid vaccine. nearly 9.5 million doses are in the hands of health officials now. >> vaccinated or not, millions are flocking to u.s. airports ignoring warnings to stay home for the holidays. this morning, airports across the country packed with last-minute travelers. the holiday rush turning out record numbers amid the pandemic. experts now estimating one in four people plan to hit the road for christmas despite pleas from doctors to stay home. >> if people continue to gather for the upcoming holidays, we are going to cripple our hospital system. >> reporter: in california, icu capacity is running dangerously low. the bay area reporting nearly 90% of beds are full while some hospitals in southern california have no room left. >> i want you to cancel those plans.
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i want you to stay safe. >> reporter: the mayor of los angeles begging people to stay home after the county reported its deadliest day since the pandemic began. >> this emergency is our darkest day, maybe the darkest day in our city's history. >> reporter: in new york fdny paramedics who responded to countless calls during the brutal spring period receiving their first shots. the city implementing a stricter quarantine for some international travelers after officials say they've detected yet another variation of the virus in the uk. >> we are going to have sheriff's deputies go to the home or the hotel of every single traveler coming in from the uk. >> reporter: and vaccinations hitting a new milestone. the cdc announcing that more than 1 million americans have already received their first vaccine dose. in arizona the national guard is helping hospitals administer the shots to frontline workers. in florida the governor is breaking with official guidance
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and will allow anybody over 65 to get the vaccine ahead of essential workers like police and teachers. >> if there's one dose in pensacola left for this week, i want it to go to an elderly. i don't want it to go to me. >> and we are learning there are new cases of people suffering allergic reactions to the vaccine this week including a health care worker in new york and another person in alabama. officials are now recommending up to 30 minutes of observation after getting the injection and the cdc says you should not get the second dose if you had a severe reaction to the first. the storm battering the midwest turned deadly overnight with crashes in nebraska killing at least three people. from nebraska to minnesota, police have been responding to hundreds of accidents as drivers navigate through blinding whiteout conditions. more details now from abc's megan tevrizian. >> reporter: this morning, millions of americans bracing themselves for a cold and blustery christmas eve. a major winter storm is sweeping
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across the midwest heading east from the dakotas to nebraska to minnesota. ferocious winds causing power lines to spark. in some areas the visibility so bad creating whiteout conditions like this making it nearly impossible for drivers to see the car ahead of them. state troopers responding to hundreds of crashes throughout the day as minnesota's governor called out the national guard to rescue stranded drivers. by nightfall officials were shutting down major highways. the roads simply too dangerous. >> it was pretty bad going 30 miles an hour on the freeway. >> reporter: a similar scene in colorado. on wednesday this so-called snow squall swallowing an entire neighborhood. the blizzard-like storm packing winds up to 95 miles per hour. megan tevrizian, abc news. >> megan, thank you. and let's head straight to a look at your morning weather.
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forecasters warn the storm in the midwest is moving east, and it's carrying winds so strong tornadoes are possible along the coastlines of virginia and the carolinas. the radar shows the system's path from the midwest to the east coast along with gale force winds. it's expected to drop enough heavy rain to cause flash flooding and widespread power outages. highs today nearing 60 from d.c. to new york. close to zero around minneapolis and in the teens for chicago. 7, minneapolis. coming up, the high-rise rescue after an explosion left construction workers dangling 100 feet off the ground. also ahead, what we're learning from the newly released video of that police shooting in ohio. and later what doctors are saying about another new str
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an explosion at a high-rise building idowntown baltimore left two window washers temporarily trapped on scaffolding dangling ten stories in the air. the explosion also injured 21 construction workers. none of the injuries are life-threatening. the investigation is under way, but authorities say the blast was related to construction being done on the building. newly released video depicts the moments after an unarmed black man was fatally shot by a police officer in columbus, ohio. officer adam coy shot andre hill while responding to a disturbance call with another officer. the video shows hill walking towards the officer with a cell phone in his left hand, but his right hand was not visible. the u.s. attorney's office in columbus will review the case. neighbors held a memorial for hill on wednesday night. new york had the nation's highest population decline according to new census bureau data.
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the empire state lost over 126,000 people from july 2019 to july of this year. the drop could cost the state at least one house seat next year. a michigan mom and dad are celebrating the birth of their baby girl, a birth they thought might never happen. just when katy sanchez and her husband tried to start their family, katy was diagnosed with a brain tumor. after surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and a clinical trial, carrying a baby was impossible, so katy turned to facebook to find a surrogate, and it was an old childhood friend named christy who stepped up. >> katy and i had several conversations. not a lot of time passed before i initially read her post to actually telling her that i was willing to take this journey. we both cried. it was unforgettable. >> i'm so happy that i will be able to tell my daughter that she was born out of such a great act of kindness. >> there were some concerns because the surrogate christy is a nurse who's been working on
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the front lines but christy, new mom katy and the baby are all fine and katy has been cancer-free for three years. how professional athletes are paying the price for covid restrictions. how one business is helping the homesick during the pandemic. ♪ and i know it's gonna be... a lovely day. ♪ ♪ lovely day, lovely day. lovely day. ♪ ♪ lovely day. ♪ lovely day, lovely day. ♪ no matter how you celebrate this year, make this holiday extra special with a gift from pandora jewelry. for skin as alive as you are... don't settle for silver 7 moisturizers 3 vitamins 24 hours hydration gold bond champion your skin
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carrying gasoline crashed. witnesses say another vehicle pulled in front of the truck causing it to swerve and roll over. authorities are searching for the other driver. the tanker truck driver did die. actor kirk cameron is defending his decision to hold a second christmas gathering many are slamming as a superspreader event. cameron was joined by as many as 100 mostly maskless carolers singing outside a southern california mall as the state's covid cases surge. he said, quote, if you come caroling, you might catch the hope virus. health officials warn a new variant of the virus that's been circulating in south africa could be far more contagious than the variant found in the uk. earlier i asked dr. imran ali about these mutations and holiday concerns. i want to talk about this new strain of the virus that we're learned about. this one detected in south africa. how concerned should we be about news of these mutations, and do we know if the vaccines are effective against these new variants? >> you know, viruses mutate
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regularly. the concern is now that this mutation is more prevalent, especially in england, and it is -- there are some chances that this mutation could make the virus more transmissible, but i want to stress that this mutation rather does not cause more adverse effects, more lethality. moderna and visine are looking to study this to see if the viruses are useful. remember, mona, this is an mrna vaccine, the moderna and pfizer, so if we needed to make an edit to include these variants, it's very easy to do so, so i think we're in good shape right now. also another thing, mona, i want to stress that this virus, this variant is not more transmissible in children. we still don't know that much. we're learning a lot about it though right now. >> what is your advice specifically for people to stay safe going into the next
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week? >> i tell my patients, you know, have your immediate family enjoy christmas in your home. make it as festive as you possibly can, and then start planning next year's wonderful christmas with extended family, but try not to bring families from different parts of the country into one place, because eventually they'll have to go back home and bring virus potentially with them, and that's how things spread. >> and, dr. ali, among those traveling this holiday are some americans who have recovered from covid. is traveling safer after you've recovered from the disease? >> people think that they're completely protected once they have, you know, recovered from the virus, and you do have antibodies, you are protected to a degree, so it's best to continue doing social distancing and being extra careful even if you already recovered because it's not the same kind of protection as you would get from a vaccine. >> our thanks to dr. ali. houston rockets star james harden has been fined $50,000 by the nba for violating the
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league's covid-19 protocols. the fine follows a league investigation of a video showing harden at a party without a mask. harden was also supposed to be sidelined for last night's game as part of his punishment, but it was postponed because the rockets did not have enough eligible players. and in football, washington football team quarterback duane haskins has been hit with a $40,000 fine after he was caught at a party without a mask. the fine is believed to be the largest yet for a player violating the league's covid protocols. haskins was also stripped of his team captain title and no word yet on if he will start the team's game this weekend against the carolina panthers. coming up, a festivus for the rest of us. how people are celebrating the holiday all about complaining. also ahead, the heartfelt message from one little girl amid a covid christmas.
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♪ time to check "the pulse." we begin with a whiff of home for those who may not be able to get there. we didn't plan that, by the way. >> but this is specifically for our british friends. it's bottled air from scotland, england, wales and northern ireland. it's being sold by the relocation website my baggage. >> expats can also request a bottle of air from a specific location or distinctly british places like the london underground, a/k/a the tube or a fish and chips shop. each bottle is about $33. hello. >> okay. next to a man's best friend getting a talking to. >> it sure seems like they deserve it. check out the guilty parties. major, the yellow lab, tito the pug, that's a whole lot of trouble. their owner scolding them for that, ripping apart the couch. >> yeah, and tito just kind of sits there while major takes the brunt of their owner's rage and even seems to be avoiding eye contact.
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it wasn't me. another celebration of festivus has come and gone. >> the famous "seinfeld" holiday was created to air grievances and after a year like 2020, it seems like everyone has something to say. senator rand paul used the day to publicize government waste. among his complaints, spending $36 million looking into why hair turns gray and nearly 200 grand to study people playing video games. >> but in wisconsin drivers were offered a different message with a sign that read, quote, serenity now, air grievances later. finally a young girl in detroit has a holiday gift for all of us. >> she said she heard some people were sad because they didn't get anything for christmas, so she's offering something we can really use. >> let's unwrap it and see what it say. it says peace, so you can keep this gift all the time, and happy holidays. >> that's rosie sitting in front
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this is the time when we want to come together. we need to come together but we
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cannot come together in person. now at 5:00, a dire warning in the south bay. leaders raising major concerns that christmas gatherings could send the county over the edge. >> and defying health orders. a local church facing $1 million in fine getting ready for an indoor christmas eve service today. and another new covid-19 variant that officials are calling extremely concerning. this morning one doctor still explaining that he's confident in the vaccines. and dreaming of a wet christmas for the bay area. frances has the timeline for the rain moving in. good morning, it's thursday december 24th. merry christmas eve, my friends. >> merry christmas eve. >> frances, your tree is giving us all the christmas eve vibes. >> thank you. yeah, i moved my christmas tree so you could see it in the backgr


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