tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC February 25, 2021 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
the acting chief of the capitol threats to attack president biden's address to congress, warning that extremists want to blow up the capitol. also the house tonight passing the equality act, the bill to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. rachel scott on the hill with both stories. the biden administration set to declassify a report on the brutal killing of jamal khashoggi, last seen entering saudi arabia's consulate in istanbul in 2018. and president biden has spoke within the saudi king. mary bruce has the reporting. new york governor andrew cuomo under fire and facing backlash from nursing home deaths and sexual harassment allegations from a
top aide. former president trump's tax returns are now in the hands of the manhattan d.a. and tonight surveillance of the shooting, lady gaga's dog walker shot, two of her stolen and the $500,000 reward. >> from abc news world headquarters in new york, this is "world news tonight" with david muir. good evening. great to have you with us on a thursday night. we'll get to the former u.s. gymnastics coach charged with abuse and other crimes. late today we have learned he has died by suicide. we'll get to that in a moment. but we are going to begin with that new covid variant spreading quickly in new york city. researchers racing to find out whether it is more contagious, in new york, health officials
in massachusetts, 50,000 vaccine appointments snatched up in just 90 minutes. the unlucky ones sent to a digital waiting room. >> i now had 6,800 minutes in the wait line within a period of two minutes. so it's just been an exercise in futility. >> reporter: but more vaccine could soon be on the way. johnson & johnson ready to ship out 3 million to 4 million doses of its one-shot vaccine as soon as the fda grants emergency use authorization, which could come as early as tomorrow night. and another sign of progress -- in new york city today, more than 60,000 middle schoolers heading back to the classroom.
>> today marks an important step towards reclaiming our lives. >> whit johnson in front of the middle school in new york that just reopened, one of the schools that reopened today. back to that johnson & johnson vaccine, of course the one-shot vaccine, we've been reporting on it here. and if they recommend emergency use authorization tomorrow after this key hearing, give us a reality check. how much of this new vaccine could we see and how soon? >> reporter: david, those first vaccines could start shipping out as early as monday. up to 4 million doses in the initial rollout next week, then 20 million by the end of the march and a total of 100 million doses expected by the end of june. david? >> whit johnson leading us off on the coronavirus. we thank you. now to the former u.s. olympics gymnastics coach charged today with two dozen felonies including sex assault and human trafficking. and then late today we learned that coach has died by suicide. his body was found in a rest area. here's our chief national correspondent. >> reporter: john geddert was hit with 24 charges this morning, many for the human trafficking of minors. but rather than face those charges, tonight authorities say the former u.s. olympic gymnastics coach chose to die by
suicide. >> these allegations focus around multiple acts of verbal, physical, and sexual abuse perpetrated by the defendant against multiple victims. >> reporter: those victims were girls. geddert, who has a gold medal as head coach of the 2012 olympic team trained at his gym, and that gym was where his friend, dr. larry nasser, was convicted for sexually abusing young women and girls. >> i am certain that today's charges will bring a new round of questions for the survivors of larry nasser's terrible crimes. >> reporter: nasser is now in prison. >> you do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again. >> reporter: during his dramatic sentencing, the women who testified against nasser calling geddert his willing accomplice.
>> you, john geddert, deserve to sit behind bars right next to larry. >> the scandal has set off an earthquake in the world of u.s. women's gymnastics, and geddert denied his victims closure. he was found dead off a rest stop near lansing, michigan. >> matt, thank you. next tonight to the alarming warning on capitol hill today, the acting chief of the capitol police warning congress about threats to attack president biden's upcoming address to congress, warning extremists want to, quote, blow up the capitol. rachel scott on the hill tonight. >> reporter: tonight the stark new warning saying domestic terrorists who stormed the capitol on january 6th are now plotting teir next attack, this time targeting president joe biden's upcoming speech to a joint session of congress. >> the militia groups that were present on january 6th have stated their desires that they want to blow up the capitol. >> reporter: and with miles of fencing already around the complex, insisting security must remain high for now. >> to stop a mob of tens of
thousands requires more than a police force. it requires physical infrastructure. >> reporter: that warning about what could come amid continuing questions about what happened on january 6th in the first place. today lawmakers pressing for answers. >> you guys are in charge, though, of security on the house floor, or are you just there to make sure we take our coats off on camera? >> reporter: police were outnumbered and overwhelmed, overrun by mobs hunting for lawmakers inside. republican congresswoman jaime herrera beutler saying that she saw. >> there was no coordination. you could see the fear in their eyes. >> reporter: tuesday confusion about when the national guard was called in. >> who did you ask for assistance at 1:09? >> it was from mr. irving in the company of mr. stenger as well. >> mr. irving, why would you not remember that? >> senator, i have no recollection of a conversation with chief sund at that time. i was on the floor during the electoral college session.
>> reporter: today the acting chief showing up with evidence -- the phone logs saying they did call for help. >> on january 6th, chief sund first reached out for national guard support to the house sergeant at arms at 12:58 p.m. >> reporter: tonight we're learning 800 insurrectionists made it inside the capitol that day. other lawmakers insisting police had the intelligence but failed to act. but the acting chief saying today there was no intelligence indicating an attack of this size and scale. >> we acknowledge that there are a lot of things that should have been done differently. >> let's bring in rachel scott live at the capitol tonight. in addition to that sobering warning today, another major story from the hill. the house has passed the equality act designed to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. what are its chances in the senate? >> reporter: david, this is going to face an uphill challenge in the senate. democrats need at least 10
republicans, only 3 in the house voted to move forward. republicans are concerned about this infringing on religious liberty. joe biden made it part of his 100-day agenda, but aides saying they may have to push that timetable back. david? >> rachel, thank you. the white house is expected to declassify a report on the brutal killing of u.s.-based journalist jamal khashoggi. of course you'll remember last seen entering saudi arabia's consulate in istanbul in 2018. that report is expected to conclude that saudi crown prince mohammed bin salman, known as mbs, ordered the brutal attack. and tonight news coming in that president biden has spoken with the saudi king. our senior white house correspondent mary bruce. >> reporter: journalist jamal khashoggi was last seen alive walking into the saudi consulate in istanbul in 2018 before being assassinated by a saudi hit squad, his body dismembered. now tonight, washington is awaiting the release of an intelligence report expected to cnclude that the saudi crown
prince, mohammed bin salman, approved the brutal execution. the saudi government denies the crown prince was involved. president biden today speaking with his father, the saudi king, but the official white house readout makes no mention of the khashoggi killing being discussed. the question now, will the biden administration hold the saudis accountable as promised. the white house has said biden won't hold back. >> will he be following up this talk with action or sanctions? >> i think there are a range of actions that are on the table. our administration is focused on recalibrating the relationship as we've talked about in here previously. and certainly there are areas where we will express concerns and leave open the option of accountability. >> reporter: congress demanded the report be released in 2019, but then-president trump refused, even bragging to bob woodward about letting the crown prince off the hook. reportedly he said, "i saved his [ bleep ]. i was able to get congress to
leave him alone. i was able to get them to stop." before the cameras defending the crown prince too. >> nobody so far has pointed directly a finger at the future king of saudi arabia. >> mary bruce live at the white house tonight. it's customary for the white house to put out readouts of calls the president has with foreign leaders. this readout did not make direct mention of khashoggi. of course the question, do we know if president biden ever addressed the killing directly with the saudi king? >> reporter: david, i have asked this question exactly, and the white house says only that khashoggi was not mentioned in the official readout, leaving open the possibility that they did talk about this. this administration is now trying to reset the u.s./saudi relationship and it's clear tonight they are being very careful about how they handle all of this. david? >> mary bruce, thank you. next to new york governor andrew cuomo facing a growing backlash for his handling of covid-related nursing home deaths. tonight he also faces sexual
harassment allegations from a former top aide. >> reporter: tonight new york governor andrew cuomo, once hailed for his leadership at the start of the pandemic, now under fire. today his office defending its decision last spring to return covid patients to nursing homes, which critics claim led to a high number of deaths. cuomo saying he was following federal guidance. >> all the data had shown not just new york but across the country that this is not what brought the infection into the nursing homes. >> reporter: lawmakers now considering stripping cuomo of his covid emergency powers after his aide admitted hiding nursing home deaths for fear it would be politicized by the trump administration. new york's attorney general revealing those deaths were underreported by up to 50%, meaning that seniors who died in hospital were counted in hospital tolls, not in nursing homes. >> we should have done a better job of providing as much as information as we could. >> reporter: it comes among new allegations of sexual harassment by former staffer lindsey
boylan, alleging several unsettling episodes including a 2012 flight where the governor joked, "let's play strip poker." four staffers who were on the plane pushed back saying the conversation never happened. the governor's press secretary in a statement saying claims of inappropriate behavior are quite simply false. and, david, lindsey boylan is now running for office in manhattan. governor cuomo denied her allegations when she first tweeted them back in december. david? >> errielle, thank you. in the meantime, turning to texas where today lawmakers grilled executives about the state's power grid there, and we learned the entire grid was just 4:37 from a total blackout. marcus moore again from dallas. >> reporter: tonight, texas energy executives in the hot seat as state lawmakers try to figure out who is to blame for last week's catastrophic grid failure. >> where does the buck stop? is it you? >> reporter: governor abbott
saying the responsibility lies with ercot, the agency that manages 90% of the state's power grid claiming that did not take the storm seriously. >> they downplayed the severity of it at the same time telling me and the public they were fully prepared for it. >> reporter: now we know the state was 4:37 away from a total blackout that could have left texans in the dark for weeks. >> we came dangerously close to losing the entire system. >> reporter: the president of ercot saying he would not have done anything differently. >> obviously, what you did didn't work. >> i'd say it kept us from going into a blackout we'd still be in today. that's why we did it. >> but the human suffering. >> no. >> reporter: and it didn't work for texans like tim hammond, whose church he manages in arlington flooded after its pipes burst. the current legislative session will not end under the power
grid is fully funded. another breaking story at this hour, the reports the u.s. has carried out an air strike in syria. it's in retaliation for a missile attack on a military base in iraq. last week's attack in irbil killed a contractor and killed others including u.s. service members. when we come back here tonight, news on former president trump's taxes. well have the latest. and that surveillance tonight, lady gaga's dog walker shot and wounded, her dogs stolen. flawed ♪ pretty ♪ and some of them are slightly odd ♪ ♪ but many are small businesses that simply lack the tool ♪ ♪ to find excited people who will stop and say 'that's cool'♪ ♪ and these two, they like this idea ♪ ♪ and those three like that one.♪ ♪ and that's 'cause personalized ads ♪
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facing leaks takes strength, so here's to the strong, who trust in our performance and comfortable, long-lasting protection. because your strength is supported by ours. depend. the only thing stronger than us, is you. i'm ama daetz, next at 6:00, coronavirus vaccines are cut off from one medical. the i-team ticks into why. going beyond silicon valley, a
finally tonight, the volunteers saving the sea turtles. definitely america strong. tonight, the remarkable images, saving the sea turtles in texas. they've been at it for days. >> off we go, turtle bug! >> the sea turtles had been rescued from the brutal cold. they're now being returned to the ocean. scientists tell us the sea turtles that survived recovered after what's called a cold stun to their system. >> they can't move their flippers so they float to the top of the water. and even though their instinct tells them to lift their head to breathe, they can't. >> volunteers first saving them from the ocean during the storms, trying to keep them warm enough. the group sea turtles, inc., helping. small tubs to keep them warm and all this week they've been releasing them. the university of texas marine science institute too. the reserve director. >> 900 sea turtles that came into the center.
look here, these are some of the turtles that we kept behind so we're able to give them a little more treatment. >> tonight chase and the team releasing 870 turtles and counting. in corpus christi, the texas state aquarium with u-hauls full of rescue turtles, warming them in tanks. >> hi, david. >> jesse gilbert with the aquarium tonight telling us those turtles are going home. >> happy to report releasing 950 turtles back into the sea. >> the sea turtles saved tonight with more headed home. we needed good news. a remarkable effort underway for days. i'm david muir. see you tomorrow. good night. good night. some bay area counties cut
off the supply of coronavirus vaccines to one medical. new at 6:00 tonight, the i-team digs into the reason why. oh my god, look what's on my car. >> feral cats like these face lethal consequences in the bay area. a december i-team report generated outrage, and tonight an update on what's changed and what hasn't. >> i don't think that it is dead. it is not having its best decade. but we can do so much better. >> better. a better bay area, a better california. tonight meet the people bringing new ideas and different perspectives into the tech industry. it's part of "california dreaming." >> building a better bay area for a safe and secure future. this is abc7 news. >> jumping the line tonight. four bay area counties confirm to the abc7 news i-team vaccine supply has been halted to all one medical practices following complaints ineligible employees
and members got to jump the line. good evening. thank you for joining us. i'm ama daetz. >> and i'm dan. they terminated several members of their medical staff for their intentional disregard for eligibility requirements. now they're fed up and plan to cancel their membership. >> that's right, dan. so far san francisco, san mateo and alameda counties have completely cut off their supply to one medical. but just hours ago, the city of berkeley and marin county are now joining that list. and some members we spoke to today tell us they want to cut ties too. >> i have elderly parents that are struggling to get vaccine. i don't know. it's just disheartening to hear. >> reporter: andrew levy has been a member with one medical for the past five years. after learning of complaints alleging the concierge practice was allowing ineligible members and employees to jump the line, he is contemplating cuts ties