tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC September 17, 2021 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
was a total game changer. learn more about the condition at factsonhand.com tonight, breaking news as we come on the air involving boosters, likely for millions of americans. an fda advisory panel tonight approving a plan to offer pfizer booster shots for americans 65 and older first, and to those who are at high risk. the fda leaving the door open for the potential to add other groups incrementally. but up first, 65 and older, suggesting you get the booster six months after that second dose. and on the larger question of boosters for everyone 16 and older, they voted no, saying more data is still needed. of course all of this goes to the cdc next. dr. jha standing by tonight. what likely happens from here, and where to get that booster. and what if you had the moderna or johnson & johnson vaccine?
i'll ask the doctor. also, the pentagon admitting the deadly drone strike in the final days of the u.s. withdrawal from kabul was a, quote, tragic mistake. ten civilians, including seven children, were killed in the blast. martha raddatz reporting tonight. also, the chairman of the joint chiefs, general mark milley, and his first public comments about his communications with china in the final days of the trump presidency. what the general said today. tonight in the nation's capital the fencing and the warning. authorities now warning of threats of violence and of concerning chatter on the eve of a rally in support of hundreds of people now charged in the january 6th riot. the national guard now on standby and what rachel scott has learned tonight. the images coming in this evening, the chaos and concern at the southern border. nearly 13,000 migrants huddling under a bridge in texas, mostly from haiti after that devastating earthquake and after their president was assassinated. so what happens now? marcus moore reporting from texas.
climate change, and tonight executives from oil giants, including exxonmobil and bp called to testify. lawmakers accusing them of helping in efforts to mislead the public about the changing climate. tonight here, the audio recordings and what they're now saying. terry moran in washington. the risk along the east coast this weekend because of a tropical threat. the lions and tigers coming down with covid here in the u.s. and those four civilians on their own in space tonight and who got them on the line today. you have to see our persons of the week. good evening, and it's great to have you with us here as we near the end of another week together, and we begin tonight with that fda advisory panel today approving a plan to offer pfizer booster shots to millions of americans 65 and older or americans who are at high risk
of severe covid, six months after that second dose. that same panel rejecting boosters for all americans 16 and older, saying more data is needed. so they're starting with 65 and older and americans who are at high risk first. of course, this all now goes to the cdc next week. the president had said that all americans should be prepared for boosters starting september 20th, three days from now, but the white house says that was always pending approval from the fda and the cdc. it comes amid those numbers tonight. the u.s. averaging about 146,000 new covid cases a day. the country with about 2,000 deaths in just 24 hours for the second day in a row now. eight states tonight now with icus at 90% capacity. so, the question tonight, what does this likely mean for pfizer boosters going forward now? dr. jha standing by to answer your questions. and what about the other two vaccines? i'll ask him. but first abc's whit johnson leading us off tonight. >> reporter: tonight, an fda advisory panel voting
unanimously to authorize pfizer booster shots for americans 65 and older 6 months after your second shot. they also voted to authorize boosters for americans who are at high risk of severe covid at any age, such as people with diabetes or high blood pressure. >> we do have a unanimous 18 out of 18 who voted yes. dr. cone, yes. dr. portnoy, yes. dr. lee, yes. >> reporter: the panel didn't officially vote on it, but also unanimously supported it, including health care workers on the front lines, teachers, and essential infrastructure workers in the first wave of boosters. the fda could officially include more groups incrementally as more data comes in. the move comes after pfizer pointed to data from israel showing that booster shots given to people 60 and older cut the risk of infection by 11 times and severe infection by nearly 20 times. just hours earlier, the same panel had been asked a much larger question, should boosters be available for everyone 16 and older? the panel overwhelmingly
rejected that for now, indicating more evidence is needed. >> dr. perlman voted no. dr. gans voted no. this vote did not pass since the majority voted no. >> reporter: despite studies indicating vaccine protection wanes over time, today panel members voicing concern over the lack of data showing the impact of boosters on young people. >> there are too many questions for me to feel comfortable saying yes. >> i think that we need safety data for younger populations, and we need to really know what the benefit is. i think so far we've got some reasonable data for older people, but i really think that there are too many questions on the younger populations. >> reporter: today's decision comes after the president's plan unveiled in august to roll out booster shots for all vaccinated adults starting september 20th. >> get a booster shot. it will make you safer and for longer, and it will help us end the pandemic faster. >> reporter: facing criticism for getting ahead of the science, the white house defending itself, saying this
was always pending fda and cdc approval. and they continue to say they're ready when given the green light. so boosters will likely now begin in stages, starting with 65 and older and those at high risk. >> if you want to roll out booster shots to the population, you can't flip a switch and make that happen overnight. there's important planning that has to take place. >> so let's bring in whit johnson back with us tonight. whit, i know this goes to the cdc next. so bottom line tonight, what's the time line here, and when could americans 65 and older and americans at high risk be getting their boosters? >> reporter: david, a cdc panel will be meeting next week to consider more specific guidance about how these boosters should roll out. if authorized, we could see those shots going into arms by late next week at about 80,000 locations across the country, including pharmacies. david? >> all right. whit johnson, we'll see you right here this weekend. in the meantime we know many of you at home have questions about
booster shots. i want to bring in dr. ashish jha. dr. jha, always great to have you with us. you have been saying on the air with me for some time that older americans and those at higher risk of severe disease should receive the booster first, which is what the fda panel has just recommended today. that still makes sense to you based on the science revealed? >> yeah, good evening, david. thanks for having me back. it does. the science on this is very clear. high risk people, older people, yes. younger healthy people, we don't have the data and i'm glad that's how the fda voted. >> on the larger question of if all americans 16 and older should receive pfizer boosters, you said evidence is needed, further evidence. the fda panel saying the same thing. we saw israel starting with 60 and older. this was back in july. then they moved to 50 and older after more data. is that likely what we could see here, an incremental roll out as we move forward? >> absolutely. i think we're going to get more data on that younger, healthier population, and when we do, if
it shows that those people need boosters then i think that's where we'll go, but right now we need to focus on the high-risk population, but over time, yes, i do expect younger people to probably end up needing them. >> i try to remember what people at home want me to ask every night. if they didn't get the pfizer shot, if they had moderna or johnson & johnson, bottom line, moderna hasn't applied for booster approval yet and what about the one-shot vaccine? >> i think moderna is going to be coming in terms of the booster authorization probably in the next four to six weeks. they have submitted some data to the fda. johnson & johnson may be a couple months away yet. they just got their approval later. so we're going to have to hold on a little bit longer for j&j. >> dr. jha on a friday night. thanks so much. see you next week. to other news this friday night, the pentagon now admitting the deadly drone strike in the last days of the withdrawal from kabul was a, quote, tragic mistake. ten civilians, including seven children, killed in the blast. here's our chief global affairs correspondent, martha raddatz. >> reporter: tonight, the u.s. s military admitting to a horrific
mistake that left seven innocent children and three innocent adults, including an aid worker for an american company, dead. >> i offer my profound condolences to the family and friends of those who were killed. our investigation now concludes that the strike was a tragic mistake. >> reporter: the deadly attack came just three days after a suicide bomber killed 13 american service members and some 170 afghans at the kabul airport. the pentagon said intelligence indicated another attack was imminent. so for eight hours, u.s. drones then followed a car they thought had linked up with isis-k. officials say when the driver loaded the vehicle with what they thought were explosives, a hellfire missile was launched. even days later, the chairman of the joint chiefs supporting the strike. >> we had very good intelligence that isis-k was preparing a specific type vehicle at a
specific type location, and it was a righteous strike. >> reporter: but it was this "new york times" investigation that first called the strike into question. the driver of the car was identified as zemari ahmadi, an aid worker who they determined from this surveillance video was loading water canisters into his car with his colleagues, not explosives. today the secretary of defense also acknowledging the mistake, saying, we now know that there was no connection between mr. ahmadi and isis khorasan, that his activities on that day were completely harmless and not at all related to the imminent threat we believed we faced. >> martha, i know the u.s. military is still promising a full investigation on this. the other major headline involving the pentagon tonight, we heard from general mark milley on something else today as well, his first public comments about the calls to the chinese in the final days of the trump presidency, trying to convince them the u.s. would not carry out military action. the general defending those calls? >> reporter: he is, david.
he says those calls to his chinese counterpart were perfectly within the duties and responsibilities of his job, saying those calls are routine and are done to reassure both allies and adversaries, in this case, he said, in order to ensure strategic stability. and said he'll mount a vigorous defense when he is before congress at the end of the month. >> thank you, martha. now to the nation's capital. authorities warning of violence and concerning chatter on the eve of a rally in support of hundreds of people charged for the january 6th riot. rachel scott on the hill tonight. >> reporter: tonight washington, d.c.'s police chief warns they've picked up chatter about possible violence tomorrow, and they're taking no chances. we saw blocks of new fencing, new surveillance cameras, beefed up security. >> we have a strong plan in place to ensure that it remains peaceful and that if violence does occur, that we can stop it
as quickly as possible. >> reporter: today lawmakers were urged to stay away. the house telling its staff to work from home. the department of homeland security warning that people either involved in or opposing tomorrow's protest may seek to engage in violence. what specific types of threats of violence are you seeing? >> what we're concerned about, i think more than anything, is the possibility of counter demonstrators making it to this demonstration and there being violence between those two groups. >> reporter: more than 600 trump supporters have been charged in the deadly riot where more than 140 officers were wounded. former president donald trump insists they are, quote, being persecuted so unfairly. but he's also calling tomorrow's rally a setup, adding, if people don't show up they'll say, oh, it's a lack of spirit, and if people do show up, they'll be harassed. david, 100 national guardsmen will be on standby ready to be
used if necessary. tonight we are told those troops will only be called in as a last resort. david? >> rachel scott in washington tonight. rachel, thank you. we turn next this evening to the growing concern at the southern border. nearly 13,000 migrants huddling under a bridge in texas mostly from haiti after that devastating earthquake. marcus moore with from texas. >> reporter: tonight, city leaders declaring a state of emergency in the small texas town of del rio. nearly 13,000 men, women, and children have converged on the border town to seek asylum. and they're being held in squalid conditions in this temporary staging area under the del rio international bridge. >> what you see behind me are individuals that have not even been processed or detained. >> reporter: the shade under the bridge offering little escape from stifling triple digit heat. food and clean water becoming scarce. >> this is as bad as i've ever seen it. >> reporter: governor greg abbott ordering state police and national guard to assist overwhelmed border agents. sources say the majority of the migrants are from haiti. the nation still reeling from the assassination of its president and last month's earthquake. [ speaking foreign language ]
>> reporter: more than 208,000 apprehensions were reported at the southern border in august, a 317% increase over the same month last year. today dhs secretary alexander mayorkas saying they're working to address the influx, stating they'll employee the use of title 42, a trump era health policy that permitted the expulsion of migrants without allowing them to seek asylum. >> we will exercise those authorities. >> reporter: david, more people could be on the way. officials anticipate that an additional 8,000 men and women could come here over the next several days. customs and border officials trying to get a handle on the situation that seems to be getting worse. david. >> marcus moore in del rio tonight. marcus, thank you. now to climate change tonight and executives from oil giants including exxonmobil and bp have been called to testify before congress. lawmakers now accusing them of helping in efforts to mislead the public about the changing climate.
tonight here, the audio recordings and terry moran in washington. >> reporter: president joe biden holding his second global climate change summit with world leaders today virtually, and delivering a blunt message. >> we have to act, all of us. we have to act, and we have to act now. >> reporter: on capitol hill, democrats in congress are set to launch a major investigation into an alleged corporate climate scandal, the accusation that some of the biggest oil and gas companies in the world, quote, reportedly led a coordinated effort to spread disinformation to mislead the public and prevent crucial action to address climate change. the hearing coming after the release of secret recordings made this summer by greenpeace u.k. activists, posing as job recruiters, recording exxonmobil exec keith mccoy explaining that the company actively worked to undermine climate change legislation. >> did we join some of these shadow groups to work against some of the early efforts? yes, that's true. >> reporter: democrats in
congress say the recordings prove that exxon sought to undermine the science of climate change and downplay the effects. mccoy apologized for his comments. he says he was deeply embarrassed by them, and exxon said he wasn't involved in developing company policy on climate change. but the industry executives, they're due on capitol hill next month to answer questions on all of this. >> terry, thank you. when we come back, concern along the part of the east coast this weekend with this tropical storm. not my uncle, though. he's taking trulicity for his type 2 diabetes and now, he's really on his game. once-weekly trulicity lowers your a1c by helping your body release the insulin it's already making. most people reached an a1c under 7%. plus, trulicity can lower your risk of cardiovascular events. it can also help you lose up to 10 pounds. trulicity is for type 2 diabetes. it isn't for people with type 1 diabetes. it's not approved for use in children.
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to the "index" of other news tonight. the national zoo is now monitoring nine big cats that have tested presumptive positive for coronavirus. zookeepers noticing signs of the virus in six african lions, a sumatran tiger and two other tigers as well. all are being treated for symptoms. the officials say the animals are kept far enough away not to pose any danger to visitors. a note tonight about a very special program from our team. it is hispanic heritage month. dolores huerta has been fighting for farm workers' rights since the 1960s. tonight, our cecelia vega with reporting very personal to her, and among her questions to dolores, what's next? >> dolores, you're 91. is there ever going to be a day where you look up and say, all right, my work here is done? >> well, as long as we have people that need to be organized
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some very good questions for them today. our persons of the week. >> reporter: tonight, those awe-inspiring images, americans watching from their windows, their backyards, as that spacex rocket blasted off, only civilians on board, four of them. the first time ever headed to space. and tonight here, the questions from children back home at st. jude. >> hello, everyone, and welcome to our dragon capsule here in space. >> reporter: one of the crew members, hayley arceneaux, is a physician assistant at st. jude. she was treated there as a child, and it was little ava asking about sleep. >> what kind of sleeping bag do you have? >> so, if you've ever been camping, we pretty much have those same kind of sleeping bags. and we have a seat belt around other sleeping bags so we didn't fly away when we were sleeping. >> reporter: alana asking about zero gravity. >> can you fall in space since there is no gravity? >> well, the reason that we don't have gravity is because our spacecraft is going so fast
that it's basically falling all around the earth. but i have to say that floating is -- i don't know if you guys saw -- i caught that peanut m&m. float something so much fun. >> reporter: and, gabriel, what about the aliens? >> is there aliens in space? >> i did not think there were, until this came flying by, your favorite alien. >> reporter: and then, the view. >> you guys are going to get a view that is unbelievable. >> reporter: the crew revealing their view. >> looking through the window, we can see the entire parameter of the earth, which is so beautiful. >> best questions ever. history in the making. see you monday. good night. of murders young women who were on the stanford campus now with one verdict in just this week never before seen emotional interviews the breaking new 2020 tonight on abc new at six the california family with a three year old boy
finally escapes afghanistan tonight. only the i-team's dan noyes has their story think it's reasonable. it's it's thoughtful a big vote today by the fda on vaccine booster shots tonight vocal doctors weigh in on what will happen as a result. tracking weekend showers and fire danger on meteorologist sandhya patel. i'll have the forecast coming up. right, the finished products like this. it is a make it yourself biodegradable straw that is about to become an award-winning invention building a better bay area moving forward finding solutions. this is abc 7 news. one cell phone image tells the story what you're looking at is a rescue flight from afghanistan today carrying a three year old boy from northern california a us citizen and his family as they escape the alabama good evening, and thank you for joining us some dion limb, and i'm larry viel. you're watching abc 7 news at 6
live here on abc 7. life and wherever you stream we broke the story nearly three weeks ago how the family was beaten by the taliban at the kabul airport and turned away after the city fell abc 7 news item reported. dan noyes. spoke with the father from doha cutter late today and dan now joining us live with an exclusive report dan. well, larry, i'm not going to use their names or show their faces because they have extended family or still trying to flee but i have new details of the father's work for the us government and how they finally escaped. the day after cobble fell i told you the story of the three-year-old boy and american citizen born near sacramento and his family members who were beaten by the taliban at the kabul? court trying to board a flight to return to california late today. i spoke with the father. our site it was really bad