tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC December 19, 2021 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
so sweet. that's all the time we have for this edition of abc 7 news at 5:00. i'm dion lim, we'll see is you tonight, the rapidly spreading omicron variant, leading to new cancellations and closures, with christmas just days away. omicron now detected in all but four states. dr. fauci warning it will become the dominant variant in the coming weeks. hospitals so overwhelmed, some are calling in the national guard. in wisconsin, just 4% of icu beds are available. cases and hospitalizations only expected to rise. the nba postponing games. universities going back to remote learning. and "saturday night live" cancelling its live audience just hours before showtime. new york seeing cases surge, breaking its record for three days in a row. across the country, people scrambling to get tested, waiting in line for hours. president biden set to address the nation this week.
overseas tonight, the new variant ripping through the uk. this weekend, london seeing the largest number of new cases since the pandemic began. wembley stadium now a mass vaccination center. the netherlands now in a new nationwide lockdown. france cancelling its famed new year's fireworks. and germany shutting its borders to british travelers. and with millions of americans already on the road for the holiday, the tsa screening more than 4 million people since friday alone. many now forced to make the difficult decision of whether to travel this holiday. breaking news in washington. massachusetts senator elizabeth warren announcing just moments ago she has tested positive for covid with a breakthrough case. she says she is experiencing mild symptoms. this, as west virginia senator joe manchin delivered a potentially fatal blow to president biden's domestic agenda. announcing he is a "no" on the build back better plan. manchin saying he has major concerns about the price tag. the white house seemingly blindsided, calling the move a
breach of his commitments to the president. the mad scramble to get those last minute gifts. time is running out. so what is the absolute last day to ship those presents so they get there on time without paying more? and the new spider-man movie swinging into the record boks, crushing box office expectations. good evening. and thank you for joining us on this busy sunday. i'm cecilia vega here in washington. tonight, with just days to go before christmas, millions of americans are now facing the stark reality of another covid surge. dr. fauci warning that he expects the omicron variant to take over in the coming weeks. here's the map. take a look. omicron confirmed in all but four states. officials say omicron is doubling every 2 to 3 days.
the current surge still fueled by the delta variant. health officials urging people to get the booster shots to stay safe. fewer than 30% of fully vaccinated americans are boosted. with cases soaring, we're now seeing images so eerily reminiscent of the early days of this pandemic. hospitals overwhelmed. some calling in the national guard. people struggling to find tests. this line in new york city stretching blocks. the city seeing three straight days of record infections. this current surge is rocking professional sports. the nba postponing at least five games because of safety protocols. the nhl and nfl also taking action. and just moments ago, elizabeth warren announcing that she has tested positive for covid. saying she's vaccinated, but is now experiencing mild symptoms. and all of this, as president biden is set to address the nation on tuesday. we'll walk you through all of this. starting right now with janai norman in new york, where the
mayor is debating whether to go ahead with the new year's eve ball drop as planned. >> reporter: tonight, just days before christmas, and with millions of americans traveling to see family and friends, health officials sounding the alarm about the rapidly spreading omicron variant. >> it seems to be overtaking all the other variants, including delta, with a doubling time of about 2 to 3 days, which means that this is really something to be reckoned with. >> reporter: the alarming surge fueled by the delta variant, already causing major disruptions. te nba today postponing five games. the nfl moving three. and the nhl putting two more teams on pause due to covid. broadway shows like "hamilton" closing their doors. and "saturday night live" cancelling its live audience just hours before showtime. >> whoa, where is everybody? >> reporter: nationwide, hospital admissions up 41%. in wisconsin, only 4% of icu beds are available. >> this is getting really scary.
i know we're all tired of this. i am tired of this. >> reporter: new york, new hampshire, maine, and ohio all calling in the national guard to help ease the burden. new york state reporting three straight days of record infections, more than 22,000 today. here in new york city today, thousands waited in line for hours to get covid tests. this location is already closed. but there are still more than two dozen people in line, trying to get tested. >> we expect these next weeks to see a very, very big surge in the number of cases. >> reporter: mayor bill de blasio vowing to open new testing sites. >> there's just such a lack of information about where the actual locations are. >> reporter: yeah. >> and so many places are closing down early. they're running out of tests. >> reporter: but the long lines lingering in new york and other cities as thousands scramble to get tested before the holidays. our jon karl pressing dr. anthony fauci about the lack of available tests in some parts of the country. >> what the government has been doing now is making an
investment, literally billions of dollars, to get anywhere from 200 million to 500 million tests available per month. >> reporter: this, as some stores are even running out of at-home tests. omicron now detected in all but four states. and a new study finding it could spread up to three times faster than delta. and the risk of being re-infected with omicron is more than five times higher than delta. officials saying the best way to protect yourself is to wear masks, get tested, get vaccinated and boosted. but less than 30% of fully vaccinated americans have received that third shot. >> if you're vaccinated, you should expect that there is a high likelihood that you too will become infected during the omicron surge. >> janai joins us from a testing site in new york. janai, president biden set to address the nation on tuesday. the white house is saying this is going to be a stark warning for the 71 million eligible americans who are still unvaccinated.
>> reporter: especially for those who are still unvaccinated. we're anticipating the president will announce new steps to try to stop the spread of omicron. today, dr. anthony fauci saying he doesn't anticipate any new lockdowns, but he is warning of a significant strain on the nation's health care system. and here in new york city, the mayor saying he'll make a decision by christmas about whether the new year's eve ball drop in times square will go on as planned. >> janai, thank you. and now to the world health organization announcing that omicron has been detected in at least 89 countries. and tonight, across europe, a new round of restrictions. in some places, non-essential stores are closing ahead of christmas. and the mayor of london is announcing a record number of new cases, urging people to get those booster shots. here's julia macfarlane. >> reporter: tonight, after a week of record daily cases due to the omicron variant, fears that, for a second year running,
christmas may be in jeopardy in the uk. with london once again the epicenter. >> over the last 24 hours we've had the largest number of new cases since this pandemic began, more than 26,000. >> reporter: mayor sadiq khan urging londoners to get their booster shots. tonight, wembley stadium opening its doors as a mass vaccination center. >> as soon as i heard that they have an event here and they are giving the boosters out, so i decided to book one immediately. >> reporter: but the rolling out of new restrictions and vaccine passports for nightclubs and large venues sparking angry protesters on the streets. the uk's spiraling surge prompting its closest neighbors to take drastic measures. germany announcing travel bans on most visitors from the uk. france too. paris also cancelling its iconic new year's fireworks display. and the netherlands locking down for christmas. shutting down non-essential shops, bars, and restaurants until mid-january at least. the government here is mulling
further restrictions as case numbers continue to climb. meanwhile, late word tonight that israel is considering banning all travel to and from the united states starting midnight wednesday due to soaring cases. cecilia? >> concerning numbers. julia, thank you. and back here at home, despite those omicron concerns, millions of americans are already hitting the roads for the holiday. tonight, the message from dr. fauci on what you need to do to keep yourselves safe. here's zachary kiesch. >> reporter: tonight, americans are headed home for the holidays. some preparing to see loved ones for the first time since the start of the pandemic. more than 4 million travelers have been screened by tsa just since friday. >> we've been cooped up for a long time and it's winter break. >> reporter: travel platform hopper is expecting more than 2 million people will fly every day during the holiday dash. long lines greet passengers at airports from cleveland to philly. in atlanta, which experts anticipate will be the country's busiest, this was the line for security.
>> i get anxiety with crowds so my anxiety is starting to kick in. >> reporter: rising covid infection rates are creating uncertainty. in response, the demand for tests have been overwhelming. >> as we go into the holiday season, testing is really important so that people can gather safely. >> reporter: at l.a.x. covid testing sites like these are a sign of the times. dr. anthony fauci saying today, if you're vaccinated and boosted you should feel comfortable flying and celebrating with family. >> when you're in an airport, to be wearing a mask all the time. you have to be wearing a mask on a plane. do not do things like go to gatherings where there are people who you do not know what their vaccination status is. >> reporter: the cdc is offering at-home testing kits at select airports around the country for international travelers. if you're connecting with folks
from around the country, they recommend getting tested in advance. and if you plan on gathering indoors, they suggest cracking a window to improve air circulation. cecilia? >> zachary, thank you. with millions of americans traveling, let's get right to rob marciano. rob, tell me you've got some good news for us. >> reporter: we do have some good news. at least for the eastern two-thirds of the country. relatively quiet weather pattern shaping up. the cold air has moved in. the southeast and gulf coast, some activity along i-10. as we go through the next couple of days, maybe some wind and rain across the carolinas. most of the action is in the west. more rain, more mountain snow, around i-5, some of the mountain passes will be slick. but a warming trend in the middle part of the country, into the 50s by christmas eve in chicago, and some of the heat does get to the east coast as well. cecilia? >> rob, thank you. and now to the breaking news in washington, senator joe manchin dealing what could be a fatal blow to president biden's build back better plan. the west virginia democrat
announcing on fox news today that he is a "no." the move blindsiding the white house. so what is next for president biden's domestic agenda? here's karen travers. >> reporter: tonight, a potentially fatal blow to president biden's build back better social spending plan. democratic senator joe manchin blindsiding the white house on fox news. >> i cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. i just can't. i've tried everything humanly possible. i can't get there. >> you're done? this is a "no." >> this is a "no." >> reporter: the west virginia senator saying he has increasing concerns about the $1.75 trillion price tag and its impact on inflation and the national debt. the white house firing back in a rare, blistering statement aimed at a member of their own party. "senator manchin's comments this morning on fox are at odds with his discussions this week with the president."
the white house claiming manchin gave president biden a proposed version of the bill earlier this week that the white house believed could lead to a compromise acceptable to all. and blasting manchin for “a sudden and inexplicable reversal in his position and a breach of his commitments to the president.” the house in mid-november passing a $1.75 trillion build back better bill that puts significant funding toward climate action, child care, paid family leave, education, and health care. >> if he doesn't have the courage to do the right thing for the working families of west virginia and america, let him vote "no" in front of the whole world. >> reporter: but with the senate split 50/50 between democrats and republicans, manchin has not hesitated to flex his political power. in an interview on comedy central, charlamagne tha god repeatedly pressing vice president kamala harris on who is really the president, joe biden or joe manchin. >> is it joe manchin or joe biden? >> come on, charlamagne. come on. it's joe biden. >> i can't tell sometimes. >> no, no, no, no. it's joe biden.
and it's joe biden. and i'm vice president. and my name is kamala harris. >> a very heated moment there. let's get right to karen travers at the white house. democrats were stunned today by manchin's move. but some are still calling for this vote even though they don't have the support they need to pass this. >> reporter: this current bill cannot pass without joe manchin onboard. the white house says they're not giving up on build back better. and they're going to find a way to move it forward next year. but democrats now have to decide whether they're willing to scale it back to get to something that senator manchin can support. cecilia? >> that's so true. and that other breaking news from washington tonight. elizabeth warren just moments ago announcing she's tested positive for covid-19. >> reporter: senator warren says she's experiencing mild symptoms, but is fully vaccinated and she got her booster. she says she's grateful for the protections against serious
illness. >> karen, thank you. and there's much more ahead on "world news tonight" on this sunday. the absolute last day to ship those gifts without paying more. and the triumphant return of a golf legend. the snapshot app from progressive rewards you for driving safe and driving less. okay, what message did you hear this time? safe drivers can save using snapshot? -what's snapshot? -what the commercial was about. -i tune commercials out. -me too. they're always like blah, blah blah. tell me about it. i'm going to a silent retreat next weekend. my niece got kicked out of one of those. -for talking? -grand larceny. how about we get back to the savings? [ everyone agreeing ] my dvt blood clot left me with questions... was another around the corner? or could i have a different game plan? i wanted to help protect myself. my doctor recommended eliquis. eliquis is proven to treat and help prevent another dvt or pe blood clot.
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major carriers such as usps, u.p.s., and fedex now working around the clock to deliver billions of christmas letters and packages. >> all the shippers are doing better this year than they did last year. >> reporter: fedex anticipating another record-breaking holiday season. handling 100 million more packages than pre-pandemic 2019, and 10% more than last year. >> our goal is to deliver every package for our customers for the holiday. >> reporter: the recommended standard shipping dates for christmas eve have already passed for fedex and usps. for u.p.s., for most deliveries, the recommended last day is tomorrow. if you're shipping later -- >> higher demand equals higher prices. so the consumer, if you are last minute shopping, are going to pay a lot more. >> reporter: if you need a gift delivered in a pinch, instacart has partnerships with retailers such as best buy, sephora, bed bath and beyond, and many more. doordash and uber have similar partnerships with retailers. >> we wanted to make sure customers had a way to get gifts delivered in as little as an hour.
>> reporter: for those who are still willing to try shipping, a reminder. u.p.s. says that for most destinations, you still have until monday to make it on time for christmas. cecilia? >> thank you, deirdre. when we come back, the new spider-man movie is already the highest grossing film of the year. but just how high did it climb in the record books? highest grossing film of the ♪ thousands of women with metastatic breast cancer are living in the moment and taking ibrance. ibrance with an aromatase inhibitor is for postmenopausal women or for men with hr+, her2- metastatic breast cancer as the first hormonal based therapy. ibrance plus letrozole significantly delayed disease progression versus letrozole. ibrance may cause low white blood cell counts that may lead to serious infections. ibrance may cause severe inflammation of the lungs. both of these can lead to death.
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finally tonight, the little finally tonight, the little boy, the grinch, and the true meaning of christmas. meet 9-year-old kingston murriel. he loves christmas and he especially loves the grinch. >> there's the grinch. >> reporter: and the scene in the movie classic that he loves the most? >> the grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day. >> reporter: the one where jim carrey's heart grew three sizes bigger. kingston can relate. he was born with a congenital heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome. that means only one of his ventricles was growing. >> it was very scary. >> reporter: but kingston's mom elizabeth wanted to teach her
son how to embrace his condition. so she had an idea. >> there's nothing wrong with being unique or different. you just have a small heart like the grinch, but you can still love big. >> reporter: doctors were able to perform a procedure that allowed kingston's heart to grow. and grow it did. after years of surgeries and hospitalizations, that hope turning into reality. >> finally, they saw the measurements and the strength they needed in his heart, and they said, yes, he's ready. >> reporter: this month, kingston was given the best gift of all. doctors at children's memorial hermann hospital in houston performing the final operation to give kingston a normal life. >> my heart will grow like the grinch's. >> reporter: but unlike the grinch, kingston already knew the true meaning of the season. >> merry christmas! >> merry christmas to you, kingston. i'm cecilia vega in washington. have a great sunday, everyone.
dion: on abc 7 news at 6:00, small businesses in the bay area hoping for a jolly holiday shopping season. with days to go, they are offering incentives to get you to spend. >> it has an extraordinary capability of transmitting efficiently. dion: the fight against covid enters a new same time focusing on the latest variant and a rapper dies following a backstage dispute during a music festival. lapd released new information about the investigation. abc 7 news at 6:00 starts right now. announcer: building a better bay area, moving forward, finding solutions, this is abc 7 news. dion: the omicron variant has overtaken all over covid-19 mutations. federal health experts say it is something to be reckoned with. what does that mean for safety of our holiday gatherings.
with that, we say good evening and thank you for joining us, i'm dion lim. the omicron variant is fueling the latest surge in covid cases. in developing news, abc news reporter marcus moore has expert advice on how to handle the holidays. marcus: president biden will deliver a speech on tuesday to address the omicron variant as the country faces another unrelenting surge in covid cases. the u.s. now averaging more than 125,000 new cases every single day. at the end of october, the nation was averaging about half that, 64,000 new cases per day. demand for testing is on the rise. long lines outside testing centers across the country. >> as we go into the holiday season, testing is really important so that people can gather safely. marcus: the latest surge is being driven by the omicron variant which seems to be accelerating in its had spread across the country and is said to be the dominant variant in the u.s. >> it's shaping up to be a hard winter. we're going to see huge case numbers that will probably exceed the 250,000 a day that is