tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC September 10, 2021 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
tonight, a special edition of "world news tonight" as the nation prepares to mark 20 years since 9/11. a nation set to remember those who were lost, to honor the survivors, the first responders, the courage, the bravery, and a nation that came together after the deadliest terror attack in u.s. history, unfolding at the world trade center, the pentagon, and in shanksville, pennsylvania. nearly 3,000 lives lost. two more victims identified just this week. tonight, as this country comes together, we hear from those survivors and the first responders, and their hope now 20 years later. and two decades later, one of the central questions -- is our country safer? how do we keep this from ever happening again? with the u.s. now out of afghanistan, what are the terror
risks, from the taliban to al qaeda to isis-k. and authorities at home who now warn the greatest terror threat may come from right here. martha raddatz and pierre thomas live from the pentagon and the justice department. and the coronavirus tonight. president biden doubling down on his vaccine mandate that will affect up to 100 million americans, including federal workers, companies with 100 workers or more, and health care workers, too. rachel scott asking the president about republicans now threatening to sue. the president's response tonight. the u.s. now reporting about 140,000 new cases a day and more than 1,100 covid deaths every 24 hours. and tonight, there is also major news from the cdc, the new studies on vaccine efficacy. which vaccine performs best at keeping people out of the hospital? and what the results could mean for boosters and when. dr. jha standing by to answer your questions tonight. overseas, a second charter flight now leaving afghanistan.
american citizens among the passengers. where things stand on getting the remaining americans out. and the supreme court justice blasting the court's refusal to block that texas law banning most abortions in the state. what justice breyer says could happen next. a special edition of "world news tonight" begins now. and good evening tonight from ground zero in lower manhattan. we are here as the nation prepares to mark 20 years since 9/11. the deadliest terror attack on this country. tonight here we remember the lives lost. we recognize the survivors, the weight they've carried all these years. and of course we honor the heroes, the first responders and their bravery. you can see the reflecting pools right over my shoulder here. the names of those lost in the twin towers etched in bronze.
the stunning waterfalls here. all this under blue skies, a beautiful, crisp september day just like that morning 20 years ago tomorrow. there will be ceremonies at all three sites tomorrow morning where the attacks unfolded. president biden will visit all three over the course of the day, and of course it was right here 20 years ago tomorrow that the world watched as the first plane hit. then the second plane hitting 17 minutes later. 2,753 people were killed. just this week, two more victims were identified through dna testing. and tomorrow, as they do every year, they will read the names of those who were lost. former president obama will be here with president biden. at the pentagon, the scene of the second attack, a flag will be unfurled at sunrise tomorrow on the side of the building where american airlines flight 77 struck. later in the morning, secretary of defense lloyd austin will lead a ceremony to honor the 184 people killed. 125 of them there working tha
day and of course 59 people onboard flight 77. president biden will lay a wreath there later in the day. and at the flight 93 national memorial in shanksville, pennsylvania, former president george w. bush will address a private ceremony for family members and guests to honor the 40 people who died on that plane after those heroic civilians overpowered the hijackers, bringing the plane down in the field before it could strike another symbol of america. president biden will make no public remarks tomorrow as he and the nation mark a very difficult day. but a short time ago, the president releasing a message on video on the eve of one of the most awful days in u.s. history. >> unity is what makes us who we are, america at its best. to me, that's the central lesson of september 11th. it's that at our most vulnerable, in the push and pull of all that makes us human, in in the battle for the soul of america, unity is our greatest strength. >> president biden's message
just a short time ago. and right here tonight, the survivors, the first responders, and the families who lost loved ones 20 years later. their hope for this country and what we never knew about that day. but first, the other news this friday night, and there has been strong reaction to president biden's new pandemic battle plan and his new mandates that affect up to 100 million americans, requiring companies with 100 workers or more to get vaccinated or get weekly testing showing workers are negative. and the cdc is out tonight with several new studies on vaccine efficacy and the results were eye-opening. which vaccines are best at keeping people out of the hospital? and what these results could mean for boosters and when going forward. more than 73% of people 12 and older have now received at least one dose. tonight, these new numbers on vaccine efficacy, and dr. jha standing by with what this means. but first, matt gutman from california. >> reporter: tonight, as the country staggers past that grim
milestone of 1 in 500 americans killed by covid, millions of american workers face a new reality -- the president's sweeping move to mandate vaccinations. >> the right thing to do is to mandate it, unfortunately, because a lot of people are passing away. >> i understand the intention, but at the end of the day, i still feel like people should have the right to choose. >> reporter: and already republican governors in at least 19 states blasting the new rule for businesses. >> you should not lose your job just because joe biden is having this hissy fit. >> reporter: the governor of south carolina saying he will fight them to the gates of hell. and those 19 states with some of the lowest vaccination rates have seen covid cases surge this summer. our rachel scott today pressing the president on republicans' vow to fight those mandates. >> mr. president, what is your calling your vaccine requirements an overreach, who are threatening to challenge it in court? >> have at it.
look, i am so disappointed that particularly some republican governors have been so cavalier with the health of these kids. >> reporter: the president bracing for the political battle ahead. 75% of americans already partially vaccinated. the white house aiming to reach the last quarter of american adults who remain unvaccinated. and tonight there is fresh evidence the vaccines remain highly effective in preventing severe symptoms, even against the delta variant. the cdc reporting today that more than 90% of patients in hospitals are unvaccinated. >> those who were unvaccinated were about 4 1/2 times more likely to get covid-19, over 10 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 11 times more likely to die. >> reporter: but data showing the vaccine is slightly less effective for older people,
about 80% effective at keeping them out of the hospital versus about 90% for younger people. just this week, president biden saying that the decision over the booster shot, that third shot, is in the hands of the fda and the cdc, and the administration will distribute them as soon as they're authorized. this map showing the relentless spread of the virus just over the past six weeks. kentucky today calling in more than 300 national guard to its hospitals. >> we're already at max capacity. we're already stretched so thin. what do we do when we have our winter surge that we can count on every year? >> and so let's bring in matt gutman back with us tonight. i wanted to get right back to what the cdc said today. because they reported some significant differences among the three vaccines and their ability to actually keep people out of the hospital? >> reporter: david, those numbers really are significant from the cdc. they show us that moderna, 95% effective at reducing the risk of hospitalizations. pfizer, 80%.
johnson & johnson, just 60%. and these numbers are certainly going to play a factor in the conversation going forward about boosters and their timing and dosage between the different vaccines. david? >> matt gutman reporting tonight. matt, thank you. and i know many of you at home are going to have questions about all of this vaccine efficacy, keeping people out of the hospital, and when are the boosters coming? i want to bring in dr. ashish jha. dean of the brown university school of public health. doctor, always great to have you. i want to get right back to those results. one study actually broke down across age groups, showing the moderna vaccine performed best in terms of reducing risk of hospitalization, 95%. pfizer, the vaccine, 80% effective at keeping you out of the hospital, and johnson & johnson came in at about 60%. i'm curious, what do you make of the numbers tonight? >> david, thanks for having me back. i think the evidence really is that the mrna vaccines, moderna, pfizer, are holding up quite well. i don't know that the difference
between moderna and pfizer is that clinically meaningful. johnson & johnson coming in a little bit lower, concerning. i think we have to think about how we protect people with johnson & johnson and whether they need an extra shot or not sometime soon. >> you bring up the issue of boosters. the cdc said these studies also found that vaccine effectiveness wanes more among older adults, which is not entirely surprising given age and the fact that they were among the first to get vaccinated. we actually heard the cdc director dr. rochelle walensky say something else today, that she expects the standard for fully vaccinated, the definition in this country, might actually change. when you heard that, does that mean fully vaccinated could one day include this additional shot, the booster, once it's authorized? >> yeah, so, we do have vaccines that are three doses in order to be fully vaccinated, hepatitis b vaccines, for instance. right now we'ree seeing that two doses offer a high protection, but i would not be surprised if
at some point over the next months, the coming year, we have three shots to be fully protected against the virus. >> dr. jha, thanks as always. our coverage of the pandemic here tonight. but we do move on now to september 11th. i know for many of you at home, it is hard to believe 20 years have passed since the attacks. and we know the pain is still so raw for those who lost loved ones and for survivors, too, who told me they have carried the weight all these years when they survived, their friends, colleagues did not. we have returned to so many of the survivors and first responders we have been following for two decades here, lives forever linked by that day. >> the morning of 9/11, it was warm. it was clear skies. it was a beautiful fall. >> reporter: it was a clear, beautiful morning. >> yeah, it was. i would walk past the fire
department, and so i could say hi to the firemen that i would see all the time. >> reporter: you were making breakfast for the girls in the kitchen. >> i was. we had gotten up early. it was anna claire's first day of preschool. >> i'm diane sawyer, and it's tuesday, september 11th, 2001. >> i turned on the television to watch the news. >> reporter: this was your second day on the job? >> my second day on the job, yes. reporting to the pentagon for work. started out like a regular day. >> reporter: they are the stories of 9/11, forever linked by what happened that day. >> this is at the world trade center, and there has been some sort of explosion. >> reporter: 17 minutes later, the south tower hit. the plane hit one floor above you? >> yeah. and i realized if i had stayed up there, i would have been dead. what caught my attention was the fact that people that i knew were 100 and -- 100-plus stories
up, were hanging outside of the window. and i watched them. they were making a sign of the cross, holding hands, and jumping. to me those people were heroes. >> reporter: the pentagon was next. 9:37 a.m. >> we now have a report that fire has been confirmed at the pentagon. >> reporter: air traffic controllers were still trying to track down every plane. they hear sounds of a struggle from flight 93. >> negative contact. we're looking, united 93. >> hey! hey! >> mayday, mayday! >> reporter: deena burnett's husband tom, on board. you were actually on the phone with his mother when he clicks in, and he says to you -- >> i'm on united airlines flight 93, newark to san francisco, and the airplane has been hijacked. he said that he was putting a plan together to take back the
airplane, that there was a group of them. he told me they were waiting until they were over a rural area. i just remember being an old flight attendant. that training kind of kicked in, and i just said, you need to sit down, be still, be quiet, and not draw attention to yourself. >> reporter: and when you told him as a previous flight attendant yourself to stay in your seat and not draw attention to yourself, did you suspect even in saying that, that wasn't going to work? >> i knew as the words were coming out of my mouth that it was the wrong thing to say, because he yelled back into the phone. he said, no. no. if they're going to drive this plane into a building, we're going to do something. >> reporter: they had a plan. >> had a plan. >> reporter: other loved ones would call home too. flight attendant ceecee lyles calling her husband, lauren. >> please tell my children that i love them very much. and i'm so sorry, babe. i don't know what to say.
there's three guys, they've hijacked the plane. i'm trying to be calm. we're turned around, and i've heard that there's planes that's been -- been flown into the world trade center. i hope to be able to see your face again, baby. i love you. good-bye. >> reporter: back in new york -- >> it's gone. the whole tower! it's gone. holy crap! >> reporter: the south tower comes down. inside the only tower still standing, captain jay jonas. >> i got a couple feet away from the stairway door, and it starts. the collapse of the north tower with us still inside. >> get in here! get away from the blast. don't open it. >> there it comes. get behind. >> oh, my god. oh, my god. oh, my god! you're right! oh, my god, you saved my life! >> reporter: somewhere in that
debris, captain jay jonas and his team, when suddenly they see a piece of the sky. >> and all of a sudden a ray of sunshine hit the stairway. and i looked up, and could see, like, a little sliver of blue sky. i said to the guys, i says, guys, there used to be 106 floors over our heads. now i see sunshine, so i think we're on top of the world trade center. i just shake my head. i says, i can't believe i'm here. >> reporter: of the last 25 people out of the south tower, florence was number 18. we have followed her for nearly 20 years, and we will never forget seeing those reflecting pools for the first time. the names of the fallen etched in bronze. and florence's friend, jill
maurer-campbell. >> i always remember jill's smile. i try never to think about the way she died. as a company, we were very, very close. we all knew jill. >> reporter: she was a young mother who proudly brought her baby to work. and now 20 years later, a phone call from jill's son. >> oh. i was so happy to talk to him. >> and later tonight here, you will hear what was said in that phone call. it's hard to imagine a son who never knew his mother calling florence 20 years later and asking her, can you tell me anything about my mother? and you'll meet that son. you'll hear about the firefighters buried in the tower who somehow survived. the bravery inside the pentagon, the woman who reached out through the smoke, someone grabbing her hand. we reunite her with the man who saved her. the heroism on flight 93. the loved ones, their phone calls home. and of course we honor them all tonight, and we hope you'll join
us. our abc news special presentation begins at 9:00 p.m. eastern right here. but before we move on, we do have one more question in all this, because it's a central question for so many americans. is our country safer? how do we keep this from ever happening again? i want to bring in abc's chief global affairs correspondent martha raddatz, live at the pentagon tonight. our chief justice correspondent pierre thomas live at the justice department. martha, first to you. you reported from afghanistan earlier this summer. we all know the u.s. is now out, but what about the taliban, the remnants of al qaeda, and of course isis-k, all still in that country? >> reporter: david, both the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs warned back in june that al qaeda could regenerate and pose a threat to the homeland in just a few years, and that was before afghanistan fell to the taliban and before isis carried out that suicide bombing. now pentagon leaders fear that could happen much faster, and of course we no longer have the
military there, david. >> and pierre, i know federal authorities have told you that for some time now that the greater potential terror threat for the u.s. 20 years later might just be right here at home. >> reporter: today the homeland security secretary said the greatest terror threat to america is domestic, often motivated by hate. but while the domestic terror threat may be expanding, in recent weeks the fbi has been warning that radicals inspired by isis and al qaeda have been on social media urging attacks. so even though no credible threat has been identified for the 9/11 anniversary, these are tense times. at any given moment, the fbi is investigating hundreds if not thousands of terrorism suspects, both domestic and internationally inspired, david. >> pierre thomas and martha raddatz, thank you both tonight. and again, our special this evening, 9:00 p.m. eastern, and then diane and robin and i will be here in the morning, 8:00 a.m., as a nation remembers. and when we come back, the supreme court justice blasting
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>> nearly 20 years after 9/11, tonight, a new perspective. hear from the woman that took the first call from a person hijacked. that person was from the bay area. >> rain moving through the bay area tonight. i will show you what is coming next. >> they are going to get a minute 45. i don't know if they will get a story. >> we have a story, thousands of them over decades. tonight, we wish abc7 news reporter wayne freedman the best on his retirement. >> moving forward, finding solutions. this is abc7 news. [bellringing] >> tomorrow, america marks 20 years since the attack of september 11, 2001. of the nearly 3000 lives lost
that day, we remember one in particular. i am ama daetz. >> and i am lashley. >> after tonight we hope and believe you will never forget it. >> she was the flight attendant who made the first call about the chaos erupting aboard the first plane to land into the world trade center. >> you can only imagine how she is reflecting or people who know her are reflecting after the tragic offense. dion lim sat down with her brother. you have a story we don't think anyone will forget. dion: we have spoken to harry a number of times, but this time, we had impactful words coming from the woman who picked up betty's last phone call before the plane crashed that fateful day. >> it is hard, but i do it because i want to