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tv   America This Morning  ABC  December 20, 2021 4:30am-5:00am PST

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right now on "america this morning," the omicron variant takes hold, disrupting more americans' lives, from offices and schools closing to sports and entertainment venues. at least two senators testing positive, and a cruise ship docking in miami. the new research. what has doctors most concerned? plus, how to stay safe this holiday week. who if anyone should reconsider their holiday plans. our experts weigh in. breaking overnight, that video of that chinese tennis star feared missing. what she's heard saying this morning. manchin versus biden. how the white house is fighting back after the west virginia democrat sinks the president's $2 trillion spending plan. plus, what we're learning
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about this deadly fire at the home shopping network, qvc. later, tiger woods opens up about his very special father/son moment. and from the story behind "spider-man's" record-smashing success this weekend, and how oreos could pose a big city problem, to one man looking for love high above the highway. it is monday, december 20th. good monday morning, everyone. i'm rick klein. >> and i'm in for mona. we want to begin this morning p variant which is now disrupting even more aspects of american life. >> even though it seems to cause only mild illness in vaccinated people, omicron is threatening to overwhelm hospitals across the country. it is now confirmed in 46 states along with washington, d.c. two u.s. senators have now tested positive. dr. anthony fauci says it's so
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contagious that cases are doubling every two to three days. >> president biden will speak tomorrow about new measures that will be taken, but officials are not talking about lockdowns. abc's ike ejiochi begins our coverage. >> reporter: this morning, america enters christmas week with a rapidly spreading variant. senators cory booker and elizabeth warren now have tested positive, both with mild symptom. >> this is getting really scary. i know we are all tired of this. i am tired of this. >> reporter: across the country, cases are up 90% since october. at least five states have called in the national guard to fight the surge. >> we are burnt out. we are tired, and we are disheartened. so much of what we see on a daily basis is preventible. however, we are still living this every day. >> reporter: in new york city, the mayor is now considering if the times square ball drop will go on as planned on new year's eve after the state reported
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three consecutive days of more than 20,000 positive cases. >> it's an urgent situation, and we need to act urgently. we are seeing a very substantial rise in the number of cases in a way we haven't seen previously. >> reporter: and major disruptions in the sports world. the nba and nfl have rescheduled or postponed games due to now cases and the nhl suspending games involving travel between the u.s. and canada because of the fluid nature of travel restrictions. millions of americans are expected to travel for the holidays with december 23rd and january 3rd expected to be the busiest days. overseas, israel now banning travel from the u.s. when it comes to flying, dr. anthony fauci says masks on planes might be here for good. >> are we going to get to the point where we don't have to wear masks on airplanes? >> i don't think so. pi think when you're dealing wih a closed space that you want to go that extra step. >> reporter: early data shows omicron may be more transmissible, but is likely
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less severe than previous variants. doctors say the vaccine booster shot mostly restores protection, and this morning, more encouraging news despite the concern about surging cases. a new study finds vaccinated people who do suffer a breakthrough infection can have what's being described as superimmunity. researchers found those patients have antibodies that were 1,000% more effective compared to patients who did not suffer a breakthrough infection. ike ejiochi, abc news. >> thank you. nearly four dozen passengers testing positive for covid during a royal caribbean cruise that ended in miami. all people were either asymptomatic or had mild symptoms. the company says all of them were fully vaccinavaccinated. meanwhile, europe is taking serious steps to stop omicron. in ireland, an 8:00 p.m. curfew is being imposed. coming up later this hour, we will take a closer look at the lack of testing here in the
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u.s., and our experts talk about who, if anyone, should consider changing their holiday plans. senator joe manchin is under fire from fellow democrats after saying he cannot support the said. ing package citing concerns about inflation. the white house is accusing him of beginning back on commitments he made to the white house after talks and months of negotiations. >> 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 -- this is a no? >> this is a no. >> 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. >> house speaker nancy pelosi said late sunday she still hopes to reach an agreement next year. breaking overnight, new video of chinese tennis star peng shuai seen retracting her
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sexual assault claim against a chinese government official. people are not convinced she did this voluntarily. this comes from a newspaper considered friendly to the chinese government. there have been concerns about peng's safety since she posted the assault claim on social media last month. the women's tennis association released a statement saying this does not alleviate or address concerns an her well-being or ability to communicate without censorship. authorities investigating a deadly fire at the tv shopping network qvc. the distribution, one of only five used by the network. thousands worked there. here's abc's christine sloan. >> reporter: just days before christmas, tragedy at this north carolina distribution center for the tv shopping network, qvc. one day after a massive fire tore through the building, authorities finding the body of 21-year-old keyvon ricks. his family says ricks had just started working at the facility three weeks ago and leaves
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behind a 1-year-old son. >> i have been crying all day. i'm not hurt for just myself, not just for his mother, not just for his son. i'm hurt for my son. >> reporter: at least 75% of the building is destroyed. north carolina's governor tweeting, i have been in contact with local and state officials about that tragedy and taking steps to help families hurt by the loss of more than 2,000 jobs. ricks' family frustrated after authorities initially said all employees inside the center had been accounted for. >> i'm hurt for people that know he's a humble guy, like, he's a great person. reporter: qvc says it's not yet sure of the impact the fire may have on the shipping and delivery of products this holiday week, tweeting, we are currently focused on our team. the cause of the fire remains under investigation. christine sloan, abc news. >> christine, thank you. more shocking images show the moment of impact from one of
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the deadly tornadoes that hit kentucky just over a week ago. take a look. the powerful winds blew down the glass doors of this bank in mayfield, sweeping away everything in its path. as the massive cleanup job continues, officials in kentucky say that everyone has now been accounted for. as many as 78 lives were lost in that state. now it's time for a look at your monday weather. winter weather has finally arrived in much of the country, including here in the mountains along virginia's border with west virginia. with a trace of snow there over the weekend, and let's take a look at the radar. snow is also in the forecast for the northern rockies and the mountains of the northwest today. along the coast, some rain and some storms today down in the gulf coast. checking the high temperatures, 50s across the southeast. only getting into the low 30s in the northeast, and cold in the northern plains.
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coming up, a rapper fatally stabbed at a music festival and the search is on for the suspect. also ahead, growing outrage after a truck driver sentenced to more than 100 years in prison for a deadly crash. his fellow drivers now threatening a boycott. and later, why oreo cookies could be the key to solving a major problem plaguing big cities.
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a japanese billionaire is back on earth, after spending two weeks on the international space station. he touched down with his producer and a russian cosmonaut in kazakhstan this morning. during the journey, he explained how he brushed his teeth and used the bathroom. police in las vegas are
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investigating the death of a rapper that was stabbed backstage at a concert. he was stabbed after reportedly being attacked by a group of people. the concert was cut short and fans were seen jumping over barriers to escape. no arrests have been reported. in colorado, outrage is growing after a truck driver was sentenced to more than 100 years in prison for a deadly crash. now, some of his fellow truckers are threatening to boycott the scene. andrew dymburt explains. >> i don't know why i'm alive. >> reporter: after a passionate plea to a judge, a truck driver was sentenced to 110 years in prison for a deadly pileup on a colorado highway. now, it's sparking backlash from truckers across the country. several videos, are calling on truckers to protest. >> truckers, he needs our help.
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>> reporter: he was sentenced after a jury found him guilty for the colorado reck in 2019. his big rig slammed into dozens of parked cars. he claimed he had lost control of the truck after his brakes failed. he was found guilty on 42 counts, including vehicular homicide, leading to a consecutive sentence of over a century. legal experts say because colorado did away with the death penalty, life in prison is the harshest punishment possible. >> once you have 23 felonies with minimums that are served consecutively, that can add up. >> reporter: now, truckers are going to threaten to stop moving goods to and from colorado, using hash tags like #notruckscolorado. #don'tdrivecolorado. as of sunday, 4.2 million people have signed a petition asking the governor to commute the sentence.
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we welcome an application from the defense. the families of those killed called the sentence appropriate under the law and say they are the victims here. andrew dymburt, abc news, new york. why it may be hard to find candy canes the week before christmas. >> what is santa going to do in. ahead, tiger woods talks ahead, tiger woods talks about a very special fath ♪ ♪ don't be fooled by the bike. or judge him by his jacket. while ted's eyes are on the road, his heart stays home. he's got gloria, and 10 grand-babies, to prove it. but his back made weekend rides tough, so ted called on the card that's even tougher. and the medicare coverage trusted by more doctors. medicare from blue cross blue shield. by your side, no matter what. that's the benefit of blue. find your local blue cross and blue shield plan at does scrubbing feel like a workout? scrub less with dawn platinum. and blue shield plan its superior formula breaks down and removes up to 99% of tough grease and food residue faster.
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from the inside out. (sfx: playful cadence of full soundscape) [upbeat acoustic music throughout] a staple of the holiday
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season is in short supply. there's a candy cane shortage. and it's not just because of thh pap democrat pandemic. peppermint has had a decline in the last decade. as we have been reporting, the omicron variant is causing people to rethink their plans. covid tests are in short supply. i got some answers for commonly asked questions. what is the holdup right now on testing? and what do you say to people having trouble finding a test? >> it's alarming. the lines look back like they did in 2020. the holdup is coming to a supply chain issue. and we're seeing an influx of demand that is not being met by supply that exists. anyone out there having trouble finding one, talk to your friends and your pharmacies. go online. a lot of places have the tests, available right now. on the go. and careful to buy anything on the internet.
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you want to make sure it's fda-approved and that it works. >> what don't we know that concerns you? and how concerned are you that the messaging out there is suggesting that it causes less severe disease than the delta variant? do we know that for certain? will you continue to tell people that there isn't much of a worry if you've been vaccinated? >> we don't know that for certain. te preliminary data does tell us that while this virus, this variant, is a lot more transmissible, the early data shows that it does cause a mild illness. that's a good thing. what concerns me is we can't put a stamp on it and say more mild means it will be like a common cold and cause no problems. with that much infection, we can overwhelm our hospital systems. >> the advice we heard along the way, has been familiar. get your booster shot. get vaccinated. wear a mask. is there any reason why people should cancel holiday plans? would you do that?
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would you go to a gathers like times square on new year's eve? >> i am not going to times square on new year's eve. it's too cold. i just got back from phoenix. to date, after seeing my family out there for the holidays. here's what we did. we had a very open conversation about the safety measures we were going to take, who has been vaccinated, who has been boosted. if anyone has any concerns, people were getting tested. it's important that we have open conversations even if they're tough ones because they can be. >> our thanks to dr. patel. in sports, tom brady and the buccaneers were shut outlast night. brady, throwing an interception that sealed the win for the saints. it's the third time that a brady-led team has been shutout. tiger woods, says the first tim competing on a gulf coast since his car crash in february was a blast. he and his son, charlie, finished in second place at the pnc championship. he said the younger woods was hitting the ball unbelievably.
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as for himself, he was happy to be there. >> it has a special meaning in my heart, for sure. it still does. the fact i'm able to have this opportunity this year, even a couple weeks ago, we didn't really know whether i would be doing this. but here we are. and we have just the best time ever. >> john daly and his son finished two strokes ahead of the woods team. coming up, one tv news anchor's unforgettable good-bye. anchor's unforgettable good-bye. also ahead, what is behind ♪ 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
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[♪] be in your moment. cooking and eating at home more often means food odors get trapped in your home's fabrics and released back into the air so you smell last night's dinner the next morning. for an easy way to keep your whole home smelling fresh try febreze fabric refresher. febreze's water-based formula deeply penetrates fabrics to eliminate trapped food odors as it dries. spray febreze fabric refresher when you clean up after meals to ensure your entire home smells fresh and clean. try febreze fabric refresher. brand power. helping you buy better. it's time to check "the pulse." we begin with a stunning haul at
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the box office. "spider-man" exceeding expectations. >> the third-best opening of all-time. one expert explained why the movie was such a draw. >> marvel fans they want bragging rights. they want to be the first to see this movie. that drives the ticket sales more than any other drama. >> the film is produced by marvel, part of our parent company, disney. one anchorman's epic signoff. >> it was inspired by ron burgundy, played by will ferrell. andr andrew marr wrapped up his career. >> i can't do better than quoting my great mentor. you stay classy, san diego. >> it is a classic line. andrew marr in ron burgundy's
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shadow. oreo cookies, could they be the key to solving the new york rat problem? >> "the new york times," reporting on a new method to trap rats. they love ororeos. >> they are calling it a new way to torment and kill animals trying to live their life. next, college students in tennessee cost themselves some serious cash. >> it's because they can't read the fine print. a professor hid directions to his class syllabus to a locker containing a $50 bill. the bill was there when the semester ended because no one had touched the lock. no one read anything about it. >> no one reads the fine print. a man in texas is pulling out all of the stops in his search for love. >> he is not going online. he put up a billboard. this is 56-year-old bill bays. he has attracted more than two
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against covid as omicron surges. new information from moderna about its vaccine response. >> 30 million. that is how many people tsa is expecting to screen today through the new year. >> you will not need your raingear today, but you will need it soon. it is monday, december 20. mike: good morning. welcome to our only dry day out of seven day forecast. today is a day of preparation. find the umbrella, abie put it in the car. get the drains, the downspouts. you have already noticed a change. it is not nearly as foggy as it has been.


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