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tv   ABC World News Tonight With David Muir  ABC  March 31, 2021 3:30pm-4:01pm PDT

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tonight, the raw and emotional moment. the witness sobbing on the stand in the trial of former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin. charles mcmillan was a witness that day, breaking down after seeing police body cam video of george floyd all over again, saying, "i can't breathe" and calling out for his mother. that witness telling jurors today why it was so painful to hear those words. and tonight, for the first time, we hear former officer chauvin's voice from the police body cam played in court. the coronavirus here in the u.s. the major headline tonight that could effect millions of children. pfizer saying human trials shows its vaccine is 100% effective at preventing covid in children between 12 and 15 with no serious side effects. what this could mean for vaccinations and school this
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fall. and the head of the cdc tonight and her new warning, with cases now on the rise in more than half the country. and tonight in europe, real trouble. france ordering a third countrywide lockdown. we reported on it last night and late today, president biden in front of the cameras unveiling that sweeping $2 trillion infrastructure plan. he says it would fix 20,000 miles of roads and more than 10,000 bridges in this country, creating millions of jobs, he says. calling for tax hikes on the wealthy and on corporate america to pay for it. mary bruce standing by. the chilling new images tonight from the southern border. authorities say this video shows smugglers dropping two very young sisters from ecuador over the wall, just 3 and 5 years old. cecilia vega and what she's just learned. the political headline tonight. florida congressman matt gaetz defending himself amid reports the justice department is investigating his alleged relationship with a 17-year-old girl. an investigation going back
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months, back when bill barr was attorney general. what the congressman tonight now claims. and we're tracking dangerous storms as we come on the air tonight. severe weather, heavy rain and several inches of snow in some places. that system from the gulf coast all the way up into the northeast. good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a wednesday night. major news from president biden just moments ago, his massive inf infrastructure proposal. also news on the virus tonight, on the pfizer vaccine in children and a late headline involving the johnson & johnson one-shot vaccine. but we're going to begin tonight with the deeply emotional moment in court today. a 61-year-old minneapolis man, a witness in the trial of former officer derek chauvin, composed while answering questions at first, until they played images from one of the police officer's body cams.
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charles mcmillan witnessed the struggle and former officer c chauv chauvin's knee on floyd's next. he witnessed officers trying to push floyd into the patrol car and then hearing floyd's anguish. mcmillan can be heard telling george floyd that day in that moment, "you can't win." but then the audio of george floyd on the ground saying, "i can't breathe" and calling for his mother. it was all too much for mcmillan, who then broke down in court. the witness saying he lost his own mother last june. the judge then calling for a ten-minute break. the witness did return, he answered questions and then derek chauvin's defense attorney deciding not to cross examine the witness. and we also heard audio today, former officer chauvin's voice for the first time as they played that police body cam in court. abc's alex perez leading us off again tonight from minneapolis. >> reporter: the jury today hearing from 61-year-old charles mcmillan, who lives right there in that south minneapolis neighborhood.
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>> raise your right hand, please. >> reporter: composed on the stand, he spoke of what he witnessed. the officers struggling with george floyd in their squad car, and what he remembers telling floyd. >> and i was telling mr. floyd, "mr. floyd, just comply with them. get on in the car because you can't win.” >> reporter: you could hear his words through the police body cam played in court. >> you can't win. >> i'm not trying to win. i'm not trying to win. >> reporter: floyd pleading with the officers. >> don't do me like that. >> get in the car. >> okay, can i talk to you please? >> if you get in the car, we can talk! >> i'm claustrophobic! i'm claustrophobic, man! >> you're not working with me! >> reporter: the officers then pull him from the squad car. >> get in the car! >> i'm not a bad guy! ah! please officer! please! please! ah, please, please. i can't -- i can't -- i can't choke. i can't breathe! >> reporter: they pull floyd to the ground, chauvin with his knee on floyd's neck and you hear him repeatedly say, “i can't breathe.” but that witness today,
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charles mcmillian, breaking down as he hears george floyd call for his mother all over again. >> mr. mcmillian, do you need a minute? >> oh, my god. >> please take your time. let us know when you're ready. >> we'll just give you a moment, mr. mcmillian. i'm not sure if there's water, as well. >> reporter: the prosecutor asking mcmillian to respond to the images from that police body cam. >> can you just explain sort of what you're feeling in this moment? >> i feel helpless.
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i don't have a mama either, but i understand him. my mom died june 25th. >> hang on just one second -- >> let's take a ten-minte break. >> we'll take a little break. >> reporter: after the break, the questioning resumed. >> what stood out to you about what mr. floyd was saying when you saw him on the ground? >> when he kept saying, "i can't breathe" and when he said "mama, they're killing me. they're killing me.” that's what i kept hearing. >> reporter: when floyd was taken away in an ambulance, mcmillian approached officer derek chauvin. >> i know you! >> reporter: he reminded the officer they had met before.
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>> i said to him, "five days ago, i told you the other day, go home to your family safe. let the next person go home to their family safe, but today i got to look at you as a maggot”" >> reporter: you can also hear chauvin on the bodycam. >> we got to control this, got to control this guy because he is a sizable guy. >> yeah, and i -- >> and it looks like he's probably on something. >> reporter: jurors also seeing video of george floyd in the minutes before the tragedy unfolded. looking relaxed in the convenience store. chris martin, who worked there, describing his demeanor. >> he seemed very friendly, approachable. but he did seem high. >> reporter: but the store worker said floyd paid for a pack of cigarettes with a phony $20 bill. after he left the store, the store manager called the police. the store worker, with his hand on his head, then watched the tragedy unfound, saying he felt guilty. all of this over a $20 bill. >> what was going through your mind during that time period?
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>> disbelief and guilt. >> okay. why guilt? >> if i would have just not taken the bill, this could have been avoided. >> the store worker testifying today, but i wanted to get back to charles mcmillian, the 61-year-old man, alex, because i gather as we go forward here, we're going to start to hear a lot of reporting about how these witnesses are now reliving what they saw that day and watching this video and hearing this audio in the courtroom and we're also mindful that others are watching this, too, the jury. i learned that one juror called for a break today, what more can you tell us about that and how the jury as a whole has been reacting to the video and the testimony so far? >> reporter: yeah, david, you know, you can see most of the witnesses on tv, but not the jurors, who have now had to, several times, watch those painful videos. one juror today telling the judge she wasn't feeling well, that she had a lot of tension, that she hasn't been sleeping well. she said she had been awake since 2:00 a.m. because of the stress of this trial. the judge called for a break and
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when they returned, she was able to continue but clearly this is a very difficult process for this jury, david. >> yes, we knew this was going to be a very difficult trial for the jurors who were selected. alex, thank you. in the meantime tonight, we're going to turn to the coronavirus here in the u.s. and that major headline that could effect millions of children. the potential for vaccinations now for the school year in the fall. pfizer tonight saying human trials show its vaccine is 100% effective at preventing covid in children as young as 12. so, what this could now mean as pfizer looks to the fda for approval. and the numbers tonight. 97,226,000 people have now received at least one dose, approaching 38% of adults in this country. but cases are on the rise and more than half the country tonight and the cdc director's new warning this evening. there is also late word coming in tonight, a new headline breaking involving the johnson & johnson one-shot vaccine. here's abc's stephanie ramos now. >> reporter: tonight, a major step toward getting millions of children vaccinated by the fall.
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pfizer reporting its vaccine was 100% effective in children ages 12 to 15. none of the children who got the real vaccine developed covid-19. >> this is, like, really aeffic. so, we got to have the fda do the full evaluation, but i think this is terrific. >> reporter: 12-year-old caleb chung doesn't know if he got the vaccine or a placebo, but he wanted to be apart of the trial. >> potentially helping other kids to feel safe and want to get the vaccine in the future when it becomes publicly available was really some way that i could actually help out. >> reporter: last week, pfizer started testing vaccine doses on children ages 5 to 11. >> one, two, three. >> reporter: 9-year-old twins, marisol and alejandra gerardo, got the vaccine last week. both parents who are doctors say the girls handled it well. five, six -- >> that feels good. >> seven. >> they're doing great right
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now. the first day after, they both had sore arms and one of my daughters had a little bit of a fever as well as some swollen lymph nodes in her armpit, but that quickly resolved. >> reporter: tonight, an all-out sprint to vaccinate. the country hitting a new milestone, 150 million shots in arms. but rising coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are looming. >> this is a critical moment in our fight against the pandemic, as we see increases in cases, we didn't afford to let our guard down. >> reporter: the cdc director urging americans to keep wearing masks and social distance, because there are still new challenges ahead. the wisconsin supreme court today striking down that state's mask mandate. and delta airlines announcing its flights will soon have less room. the company will start selling middle seats after a year long ban. >> so, let's get to stephanie ramos tonight. i want to turn to another headline breaking late today, it involves johnson & johnson, their one-shot vaccine. apparently quality control issues were found in a baltimore
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plant run by emergent bio solutions that helps make the johnson & johnson vaccine. but we now know that that plant has not received fda authorization yet. the human error discovered during the validation process, they say, and the company tonight assuring people at home that this does not effect any of the current vaccine out there or their promised timeline? >> reporter: that's exactly right, david. johnson & johnson says vaccines that were finished and distributed were never in jeopardy. here's what they're telling us tonight. they say they've met their delivery targets and are still confident they will deliver 100 million doses in the first half of the year as expected. and as you mentioned, david, this plant was not yet authorized by the fda. they say this quality control issue is part of the checks and balances that keep the manufacturing safe once it starts. david? >> that's why the checks and balances are in place. stephanie tonight, thank you. late today, president biden on his sweeping $2 trillion inf infrastructure plan. president biden coming before the cameras just a short time ago, as well.
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plans to fix 20,000 miles of roads, he says and more than 10,000 bridges. and the president saying he will create millions of jobs doing so. raising taxes on the wealthy and corporate america to pay for it. he will face a political fight. here's our senior white house correspondent mary bruce tonight. >> reporter: calling it a once in a generation opportunity, president biden today kicking off his next big push, outlining a massive jobs and infrastructure plan. >> it's big, yes, it's bold, yes, and we can get it done. >> reporter: the roughly $2 trillion plan includes $115 billion for roads and bridges. $100 billion to extend broadband access to 100% of the country. $180 billion for research and development, including a major clean-energy push. and $45 billion to replace every lead pipe in the u.s. by one estimate, it could create 2.3 million jobs by 2024. >> it will create millions of
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jobs. good paying jobs. >> reporter: the president touting that his plan would fix 20,000 miles of roads and over 10,000 bridges badly in need of repair. bridges like the brent spence bridge over the ohio river. one of the busiest trucking routes in the u.s., carrying more than $1 billion worth of freight every day. it now transports about twice as many vehicles a day as it was designed to handle. >> our infrastructure is crumbling. we rank 13th in the world. >> reporter: to pay for it all, a tax hike. raising the corporate rate from 21% to 28%. and new penalties for companies that ship jobs overseas. and biden has made clear he wants to raise taxes on the most wealthy, but promising those making less than $400,000 a year won't see their taxes go up. now, this is going to be a tough sell on capitol hill. republicans are not onboard. leader mitch mcconnell calling this today a trojan horse for a massive tax increase. and there are already cracks among democrats. tonight, some progressives are
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saying this plan isn't big enough. with that 50/50 split in the senate, david, this is going to face a long road ahead. >> mary bruce tonight, thank you. we turn now to the southern border and to new and difficult video comin in tonight. two young sisters being dropped over the wall by smugglers, just 3 and 5 years old. and again, it's difficult to watch. here's cecilia vega. >> reporter: the video is difficult to watch. in the dark of night, on remote stretch of the southern border, caught on surveillance camera. an apparent smuggler on the mexican side straddles the fence, hoisting a small child over, dropping her 14 feet below to the u.s. side. moments later, the same thing, a second child, dropped to the ground. then the two suspects flee up the trail, back into mexico. authorities say those children, two young sisters from ecuador, just 3 and 5 years old. a border patrol agent spotted the activity on camera and jumped into action. the biden administration grappling with the surge of migrants at the southern
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boarder. more than 18,000 children now in u.s. custody. we saw that surge ourselves on a recent trip. authorities overwhelmed. how organized are these smugglers? >> oh, they know, i think they have better intel than we have. they got spotters. they know where we are, i'm sure they know where we are right now. >> reporter: >> i have not had a relationship the border patrol chief in the air ja tells me the girls were taken to a hospital. they are okay. she says they are seeing 100 unaccompanied minors a day in her area. david? >> cecilia, thank you. tonight, florida congressman matt gaetz is defending himself amid reports the justice department is investigating his alleged relationship with a 17-year-old girl. a federal investigation going back months now, back when bill barr was attorney general. what the congressman tonight now claims. here's abc's rachel scott. >> i have not had a relationship with a 17-year-old. that is totally false.
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>> reporter: tonight, florida republican congressman matt gaetz firing back at allegations he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old. >> it is a horrible allegation and it is a lie. >> reporter: the denial following a "new york times" report that gaetz is currently under investigation by the justice department. and that the probe started months ago during the trump adminsitration, when bill barr was attorney general. investigators looking into the alleged relationship from two years ago and whether gaetz possibly violated sex trafficking laws when he allegedly paid travel and other expenses for the teen. late today, sources telling abc news that federal authorities have already interviewed multiple witnesses and that the probe into his conduct has expanded beyond florida. the conversative firebrand and trump ally insisting he is the victim, alleging extortion, claiming a former doj official reached out to his family just weeks ago. >> a person demanded $25 million in exchange for making horrible sex trafficking allegations against me go away.
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>> gaetz telling axios he's, quote, a generous partner in his adult relationship, who has paid for flights, for hotel rooms, and that now someone is trying to make that look criminal when it's not. the congressman also went on fox news just hours after the story break trying to defend himself. >> you and i went to dinner about two years ago, your wife was there and i brought a friend of mine, you'll remember her and she was actually threatened by the fbi, told that if she wouldn't cop to the fact that somehow i was involved in some pay for play scheme that she could face trouble. >> i don't remember the woman you're speaking of or the context at all, honestly. >> reporter: house republican leader kevin mccarthy calling those allegations against gaetz serious. he said, if they are true, he will be stripped from his committee assignments, but for now, he is waiting for more information, and tonight, the department of justice still declining to comment, david. >> rachel, thank you. when we come back here tonight, tracking dangerous storms at this hour. severe weather, heavy rain, up to ten inches of snow in some
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well tonight, heavy rain and snow from the gulf coast to new england. severe thunderstorms and heavy rain, several inches of snow in parts of upstate new york and northern new england. friday's wind chills, by the way, in the teens and 20s. when we come back, news in that brutal attack on that asian woman here in new york. people everywhere living with type 2 diabetes are waking up to what's possible with rybelsus®. ♪ you are my sunshine ♪
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a final note here, some welcome images tonight from boston's fenway park. opening day for major league baseball tomorrow. players in masks. fan attendance will vary. but the players will be there and the fans, too. progress. baseball season is here. and hopefully soon, a new chapter for us all. i'll see you tomorrow. good night.
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have you been outside today? it feels feels feels feels feel weather. did we break any records today? good afternoon. >> it was >> it is beautiful. >> i know. it was certainly shorts weather and pacifica. people are out enjoying the heat and of the ocean. you can see the sun off the hills and the wildflowers and bloom in the east bay. it was one all over the bay area today. again, to phrase and rephrase larry's question did we break any records? >> the answer is yes, one so far and possibly more. let's look at current
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temperatures record so far 83 degrees in san jose. that is a new record high for this date. notice temperatures right now 79 degrees in san francisco. 80 degrees across the bay in oakland. many locations have temperature readings in the low 80s. many locations apart from san jose are near records are ready. we will have the official highs coming a little later. yesterday was warm. right now it is several degrees warmer in virtually every location than it was at this time yesterday. the heat is on. i will have a complete look at the accuweather 7-day forecast. now, some big news from pfizer. the drugmaker said the covid vaccine is 100% effective in kids ages 12-15. pfizer's ceo says the results of the clinical child to the fda was sent. the commissioner says it will take about a month to ew


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