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tv   ABC World News Tonight With David Muir  ABC  May 12, 2022 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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tonight, the once unthinkable number. president biden marking 1 million lives lost in the u.s. to covid. the president saying the virus has forever changed the country. flags at half staff. and tonight here, we document the children. more than 250,000 children losing a parent or primary caregiver in this country. amid the debates over masks and vaccines, what these children have quietly faced on their own, moving on without a parent. what they reveal right here tonight is extraordinary. and we honor their bravery. the other news this thursday night, the massive fire growing in southern california. homes and cars exploding into flames. the families escaping their homes. matt gutman is live on the scene tonight. the major news from washington. the attack on the capitol and
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tonight, the nearly unprecedented move by the january 6th committee. issuing subpoenas now to five sitting republican lawmakers including house republican leader kevin mccarthy. tonight, his response. and jon karl is standing by. the major news in the war in ukraine. tonight, vladimir putin now warning of retaliation after finland decides to join nato. and what about sweden now? hat putin is saying. and ian pannell in ukraine. the abc news exclusive. diane sawyer tonight with ashley judd. for the first time, revealing her mother's final moments. and what she reveals about naomi judd's struggle and how to get help. we're also tracking severe storms across multiple states at this hour. record heat from texas to the northeast. and news tonight on the baby formula crisis. what major companies are now saying. good evening and it's great
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to have you with us here on a thursday night. and we begin tonight with the sobering milestone. a once unimaginable number. president biden now marking 1 million lives lost here in the u.s. to covid. behind every number is a loved one lost, a family changed forever. and there is another staggering figure in all of this. for every four covid deaths in this country, one child has lost a parent or primary caregiver. more than 250,000 children who have lost a parent. we have spent months here documents their journey across tis country. the quiet bravery of so many children who get up every day and head to school, head to work. we have seen so many heated debates over masks and vaccines, angry school board meetings. but some have asked, who is standing up to help the children? tonight, they take us inside their homes, their schools, their quiet moments, their strength often going unnoticed. tonight, president biden calling on flags to be lowered at the white house and the capitol to honor these families. the president saying, we must
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not grow numb to such sorrow. tonight, the children, the families who have bravely allowed us to document their journey, their tests, their turning points, the moments we have rarely seen in this pandemic. the children setting an example for us all. 5:30 in the morning, a.j. arrives at school. football practice in honor of his dad. >> i just know that he's watching me. it helps me play better, you know? >> reporter: 5:45 a.m., trey is about to leave for work. >> this is like actually happening to us. >> reporter: 6:00 a.m., his sister jenny up, too. they are now raising their two sisters, hoping to make their mother proud. on this day, jenny gets the girls to school. across this country, the young people showing their resilience. kylie walking down the hallway in high school. >> everything happened so suddenly and so fast. >> reporter: her brother colton with his backpack.
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life without their dad. cornelia getting on the school bus, a first grader, now without her mother and her father. 4-year-old elsie, 2-year-old graham, out the door before the sun comes up. barely old enough to remember their father. for months now, we have witnessed the quiet strength of the children facing a new day without a parent. more than 250,000 children here in the u.s. have lost a parent or primary caregiver in this pandemic. kylie and colton's dad was always so proud. >> all right, colty! a big birthday girl. >> reporter: on this day in new jersey, colton is about to honor his father. you got a big game tonight, huh? >> yeah. >> reporter: nervous? >> a little bit. >> reporter: your dad was a big hockey guy. >> yeah. >> reporter: what's been the hardest part for you? >> not being able to see him every day, like, it was always good waking up and seeing him.
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>> reporter: his sister kylie down the hall. you find yourself still talking to your dad? >> sometimes i'll text him and i think that that helps me. >> reporter: you still text him? >> yeah, it's like my way of communicating. it is bittersweet, because i know i'm not going to get a reply back. >> reporter: the sunset she sent her father. what did he say? >> thank you for the beautiful sky. i miss you. >> reporter: oh. >> yeah. >> reporter: did you know your mom has been doing the same thing? >> no, i do not. >> yeah. caught me. >> reporter: a mother in the hallway, listening. >> i started sleeping on his side of the bed, because i couldn't bear rolling over and seeing that empty spot. and then in the morning, you know, i'm ready to start the day and do the best that i can as a mom and i'll take care of our kids. >> reporter: he'd be proud. >> i hope -- i hope so. yeah. >> reporter: upstairs, colton getting ready for hockey. his father's rangers hat right there on colton's dresser.
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and his father's pins, his rings, his father was a marine. >> one of his favorite hats and then pins and necklaces and rings from the marines. >> reporter: i heard you got his flag. >> yeah. >> reporter: yeah. that a tough moment? >> yeah. definitely. ♪ >> reporter: we hear about the numbers, but rarely do we see the moment a child says good-bye to their parent. >> please accept this flag as a token of appreciation for your loved one's service. >> reporter: colton was just 12. his hand reaching for his father's flag. ♪ happy birthday dear eric ♪ >> reporter: their father eric died at just 51. he and his wife both had covid.
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and eric died the day they got the call, saying the vaccines were now available for them. colton now heads out the door for the hockey game his father would have loved. how are the pregame nerves? >> little nervous. >> reporter: little nervous? all right. his mother on the other side of the fence. >> one, two, three -- >> bears! >> reporter: in florida, trey and his siblings starting another day without their mother. >> i wake up at 5:30, take a shower, then hopefully i have a little bit of time to read my bible and eat a bit of food. i'm studying to become a firefighter. >> reporter: cindy, a single mother of four, died from covid. she had been afraid of the vaccine. >> once i got the news, of course, was over the phone, like, obviously i cried and i was super sad. found out she had covid one s,?
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day, next day, she was gone. >> reporter: jenny and her brother trey are now the parents. >> we're making good time this morning. >> reporter: she fixes sierra's makeup. >> perfect. >> reporter: zoe getting ready, too. becoming parents has been difficult. >> i had a hard time admitting that i felt kind of guilty because i felt very -- like, tired, stressed out, just wanting to be by myself sometimes. >> reporter: it is okay. >> yeah. >> reporter: and who is looking out for you? >> honestly -- it's a lot. it's a lot. >> reporter: and in our months following these children, we
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noticed something else. every day, jenny and her mother's necklace. >> i don't feel right not wearing it. i've worn it every day since i got it from the hospital, so -- >> reporter: she was wearing that when she went to the hospital? >> yeah, yeah. this is the first thing that they handed to me. ever since then, i've had it. >> reporter: every one of these children carries their parent with them. it's 5:00 a.m. and a.j. is up. he knows that's what his father wuld have wanted. >> have a good day. >> bye. >> love you, son. >> love you. >> reporter: he's off to football practice. >> so, it's 5:24 in the morning. >> reporter: his father allen was just 49. he'd had his first shot of the vaccine and he was waiting on the second. part of why you're here is your dad, right? >> yeah, definitely. >> reporter: you think about him every day? >> every day. especially when i wake up.
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>> reporter: it's been nine months now without his father. before every game, you go to the sideline? >> yeah, right over there. >> reporter: and what do you do? >> well, i say a little prayer and i talk to my dad just like i would before every game, he'd give me a phone call, so, i just act like i'm on the same phone call and i just hear him talking with me. >> reporter: you still hear his voice? >> yeah, definitely. >> reporter: in mississippi, the scope of the loss is devastating. the little girl who lost both parents. milindi now raising her 7-year-old niece, cornelia. >> where's your jacket? and your mask? . >> reporter: her parents, craig and mindy bell, died just three months apart. both getting covid before the vaccines were ready. >> that's milindi in the blue jacket and that's tasha in the black jacket. they're my momma and daddy, but they died. >> reporter: and milindi is about to bring her niece to the covid memorial on the
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reservation. >> they made this cross for those who passed from covid. so, like mammo and your mother. so, like mammo and your momma. this is in honor of them. >> what's honor mean? >> like -- honoring people, you know, because they passed. dedicated to those -- the lives of those lost to the covid-19 pandemic. be of good courage and he shall strengthen your heart. >> reporter: as we document these families, the turning points. >> feeling so excited. >> reporter: six months after losing their mother, they are now packing. with their two jobs and money raised by a mom from school, janie, on go fund me, they are now about to move into their first house. their mother's dream. >> she always wanted a house for us, so -- i know she's probably ecstatic right now. >> reporter: so, you made dinner
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already for tonight. >> yes. >> reporter: what is dinner? >> baked chicken and rice, white rice. >> reporter: i might have to stay a little longer. as part of his training, we watch as trey returns from a call with the palm beach guards rsone?t >> yes, sir. >> reporter: feeling good? >> yeah. >> reporter: the smile says it all. turning points for all of the families. cornelia about to make the honor roll. >> cornelia. [ applause ] >> reporter: and the speech kylie is about to give for her father. >> good afternoon, everyone. my name is kylie. going back to school was and still is the most challenging ting i ever had to conquer.
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this year, my brother decided to join hockey. we are slowly learning to find happiness in our lives again. perhaps sharing can let other families know, let other children know, that they are not alone. thank you. >> their incredible bravery. we have been following these families, these children for months now, and there is so much more to their stories. how they got by, the strangers reaching out, the mother now parenting alone, her facebook group with nearly 1,000 strangers joining her. this is a powerful journey and we hope you'll watch "the orphans of covid," a special edition of "nightline," that's later tonight. set your dvr. and our special documentary, "the orphans of covid" up on hulu after 9:00 p.m. tonight. we thank those families. in the meantime, to the other news this thursday night, the massive wildfire in southern california. homes and cars going up in flames. the flames racing up this hill, in fact, toward homes where families had little time to prepare before their homes were fully engulfed in flames. abc's chief national correspondent matt gutman from the scene tonight. >> reporter: that firestorm
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tearing through this neighborhood in california's orange county. firefighters bracing against the blast furnace heat, as homes and cars explode in flames. the fire breaking out in laguna niguel just after 2:30 bend wednesday afternoon. at least 20 homes destroyed. many others damaged. this goes on for house to house. all that's left is this smoldering wreckage in so much of this place. we saw one of the residents, ritz sherman, looking at the damage. >> there's a lot of people in this community i know -- >> reporter: they lost everything. >> you look around, yeah. just can't imagine, yeah. >> reporter: officials predicting we'll see more freak fires like this. >> with the climate change, the fuels, beds, are so dry that fire like this is going to be more commonplace. >> reporter: david, yesterday was cool with relatively high humidity, not what they call fire weather here, but officials tell us, we have to stop being surprised by fires like this. they say this is the reality of this situation. david?
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>> matt gutman on the scene in california. thank you, matt. the major headline from the capitol tonight, the dramatic escalation in the investigation of the capitol riot. the january 6th committee now issuing subpoenas to five sitting republican lawmakers, including house republican leader kevin mccarthy. his response tonight, and here's jon karl. >> reporter: in a highly confrontational and virtually unprecedented move, the january 6th committee today subpoenaed five republican members of congress, including gop leader kevin mccarthy, who could soon become the speaker of the house. all five had refused to cooperate. mccarthy unwilling to testify about his phone conversations with president trump while the attack on the capitol was underway. back on january 6th, mccarthy told abc news that he pleaded with trump to give a national address calling on his rampaging supporters to stand down. >> i begged him to go talk to the nation. >> reporter: four days after the riot, mccarthy was caught on tape telling fellow republicans
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he'd had it with trump. > i've had it with this guy. what he did is unacceptable. nobody can defend that, and nobody should defend it. >> reporter: but soon after, mccarthy was back to being one of trump's staunchest supporters, as he is today. mccarthy would not say tonight whether he will comply with the subpoena, but he accused the january 6th committee of using its investigation to go after its political opponents. david? >> jon karl on this again tonight. thank you, jon. to the war in ukraine tonight, and vladimir putin is now threatening retaliation after finland announced plans to join nato. and what about sweden now? and why putin is so furious about this. ian pannell from ukraine again tonight. >> reporter: tonight, russia vowing to retaliate after finland's leaders said they wanted to join nato without delay. sweden also signaling it might join. both countries have long been neutral, but russia's invasion of ukraine has changed opinion. it's a huge blow to vladimir putin, who used nato's expansion to his own borders as one of the
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justifications for the war. the russian deputy ambassador to the u.n. with this warning to a british journalist. >> if there are nato detachments in these territories, so these territories would become a target, or possible target for a strike. >> reporter: david, nato indicating that they'd welcome sweden and finland with open arms. however, it's still not a done deal, both countries' parliaments would have to ratify, as would nato. but if it does goes through, it could also run the risk potentially of vladimir putin doubling down here in ukraine, and raising the risk to nato. david? >> ian pannell with us again tonight. thank you, ian. we turn now to the abc news exclusive. diane sawyer with ashley judd. the deeply personal conversation. for the first time, ashley judd revealing her mother's final moments and what she reveals to diane about her mother naomi judd's struggle. and tonight here, how to get help. here's diane with ashley judd. >> reporter: where do you want to begin? >> um -- there are many places
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to begin, i think that i would start with -- my mother knew that she was seen and she was heard in her anguish. when we're talking about mental illness, it's very important to be clear and to make the distinction between our loved one and the disease. it's very real. and the lie that the disease told her was so convincing. >> reporter: and it's the lie that you are not -- >> that you're not enough, that you're not loved, that you're not worthy. and i'm tasked with an exceedingly difficult -- task in disclosing the manner of the way my mother chose not to continue to live. and i've thought about this so much, because once i say it, it
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cannot be unsaid, and so because we don't want it to be apart of the gossip economy, i will share with you that she used a weapon. my mother used a firearm. so, that's the piece of information that we are very uncomfortable sharing, but understand that we're in a position that, you know, if we don't say it, someone else is going to. and so, i want to be very careful when we talk about this today that for anyone who is having those ideas or those impulses, you know, to talk to someone, to share, to be open, to be vulnerable. there is a national suicide hotline. and that people who are in distress can call that national suicide hotline. >> and so we should note that if you are struggling with thoughts of suicide or are worried about a loved one, help is available. you can call the national suicide prevention lifeline at
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1-800-273-8255 or text talk to 741741 or visit for free confidential emotional support 24 hours a day. our thanks to diane, and, of course, to ashley judd. when we come back here tonight, severe storms hitting this evening for several states. and news tonight on the baby formula shortage. what major companies are now saying tonight. i'm greg, i'm 68 years old. i do motivational speaking in addition to the substitute teaching. i honestly feel that that's my calling-- to give back to younger people. i think most adults will start realizing that they don't recall things as quickly as they used to or they don't remember things as vividly as they once did. i've been taking prevagen for about three years now. people say to me periodically, "man, you've got a memory like an elephant." it's really, really helped me tremendously. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. i've got nothing to eat. nothing. hold on, i can do something. ♪ turning nothing into something ♪
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from kansas to michigan tonight. a tornado watch right now in effect for south dakota. also record heat tomorrow, 80s and 90s from texas all the way up into the northeast. when we come back here, the new headline on the baby formula shortage tonight. on a day without migraine my whole body feels free. because my eyes don't shy from the light. my head doesn't pound. and my stomach isn't nauseous. it's time for migraine prevention delivered differently, through an iv infusion. it's time for vyepti - a preventive treatment for migraine in adults. vyepti is designed to start working fast, and to last with a 30-minute iv infusion, 4 times a year delivering 100% of the medication directly into your bloodstream. the power of a vyepti infusion can help to reduce monthly migraine days. some had fewer migraine days with the very first treatment. don't take if allergic to vyepti. common side effects are allergic reactions, stuffy nose, and scratchy throat. allergic reactions include rash, swelling, trouble breathing, hives, and redness of the face.
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now to the shortage of baby formula. president biden speaking with baby food companies today and tonight, the white house now saying gerber and reckitt have now increased baby formula production to make up for losses when abbott shut down its plant following a recall. gerber and reckitt now operating 24/7. when we come back, one more powerful image coming in tonight. bundled your home, auto, it's a good thing you and rv insurance with progressive. you saved money and you get round-the-clock protection. so don't worry. it's all under control. [ screaming continues ] that's cool. we'll finish up here. bye! [ roars ] [ screaming continues ] that's why you go to the restroom before the movie starts. get epic protection for your dominion with progressive. i've got nothing to eat. nothing. hold on, i can do something. ♪ turning nothing into something ♪ ♪ turning nothing into something ♪ it's amazing what you can do with nothing,
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>> new at six, the i shares the story of this woman getting stuck on an elevator. >> last words and lost lives. coronavirus takes an unimaginable toll. a wildfire wipes out multimillion dollar mansions down south, but not all is lost. >> greasy and below average today, but not for long. a warm up is on the way. >> building a better bay area, moving forward, finding solutions, this is abc 7 news. >> nothing unusual here, but after one woman stepped onto an elevator, what happened next was anything but ordinary.
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dan: a woman got stuck on an elevator in san francisco and that's just the start of the story. she's now asking questions about the states backlog of elevator inspections. we looked into who is responsible for keeping elevators in good working order, even if an inspection is long overdue. >> a convenience for some and for others a necessity. we take elevators every day, but after one bay area woman got stuck on one -- the abc 7 news i team uncovered elevators in san francisco overdue for inspections, sometimes by years. >> it stopped, the lights flickered, and that was it for me. >> she was visiting her brother at a hotel in san francisco when this happened. she says she