ABC News Live Update: Wuhan lab under scrutiny amid search for COVID-19 origins

Plus, Biden pushes allies to be tougher on China, and where things stand six months after the first vaccination in the U.S.
21:59 | 06/14/21

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Transcript for ABC News Live Update: Wuhan lab under scrutiny amid search for COVID-19 origins
Good morning I'm Dennis Tito thanks for streaming with us in today's update today marks six months since the birth of a vaccine shot was given any US outside of trials. Now more than 173. Million Americans have received at least one dose. I'll be 62% of the eligible population. This weekend Chicago listed capacity limits for bars gyms in large venues Wrigley Field is also how. With fans for Friday's game against the cardinals. We'll have more on the new investigation into the origins of the pandemic. And the warning from experts of a possible new wave of US inspections this ball. And wildfires are forcing mandatory evacuations as a dangerous heat wave moves through the west. Salt Lake City could reach its all time record of 105 degrees for the month of June. 64% of Utah's experiencing exceptional drought and eight other states are under fire and heat alerts as they also battle high winds. And longtime Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been ousted after more than twelve years. Another tally Bennett was named the new prime minister after Netanyahu's political opponents formed a coalition. But Netanyahu the country's longest serving leader is already vowing he will be back. And president Biden is in Brussels today for the NATO summit this morning he called the NATO alliance it quote sacred obligation. A sharp contrast to former president trump who called it obsolete the summit comes after the president met with Queen Elizabeth over the weekend and asking now prepares to meet with Russian president Vladimir Clinton on Wednesday. Before that big meeting with Putin president Biden is set to meet with more key allies at the NATO summit. To try to reassert the United States' commitment to the alliance congressional correspondent Rachel Scott has been following the president every step of the way on his first foreign trip. And she joins me live now with more. Hi Rachel I know that summit with Vladimir Putin it's a high stakes one but it's not only high stakes meeting. I'm Biden's schedule is also set to meet with president heir to want Turkey so what's at stake there. Yeah we're expecting not needing to happen. Any moment now this comes as high human relations between Turkey and the United States. Our tenth president Biden recognize the armed rule in genocide Turkish president her one thing before he left for this summit that he found those comments to be gearing negative. And that the approach has seriously upset them so expect that to be key point that it's hit on during that meeting. And on the US side there's been some frustration. With Turkey purchasing Russian defense systems at a time when the United States is really trying to show this united front that the allies are coming together ahead of this critical and high stakes needing. As you mention with Russian President Hu N. President Biden once the billing with the wind at his back not at a time when he feels like his allies are growing closer to rash shot. I haven't the students at first I am meeting obviously back in 2011 president Biden was in Turkey speaking at a global summit at the time air one was actually sick. Biden then vice president al-Qaeda in the house visit puzzles get short meeting the two ended up talking. For hours. But we know that relations have sort of got even more tense. Over the last couple of months and everyone's saying that he once asked by and that question directly why have the US relations with Turkey. Grown only more tense Diane. A racial what else is on Biden's agenda at this NATO summit what's he hoping to accomplish. This is all about re affirming the United States and be your ship. On the world stage we saw that at the G-7 summit now again here acting NATO summit. The president making clear that B alliance he believes that the alliance is rock solid that he wants to reaffirm the partnership. With the nation that ended at a time. When former president Donald Trump re against NATO be called an obsolete he question article five a which is in the NATO agreement saying when one of us is attacked all of us in the attack it was actually illegal to once after the September 11 attack on the Twin Towers. As a president Biden it's you're trying to reassure our partners. Bar presidents but still there's going to be some sticking points including the president's decision. To withdraw troops from Afghanistan and we know that some world leaders were caught off guard by that. Raising some concern we just got a call with a senior administration official kind of push back on that idea. I that person that they were in the room for some of the meetings and that some of these allies agree with president Biden's decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan but they want to make sure that there is a stable presence in the region Diane. Henry Joseph Biden is also pushing allies to be tougher on China how are they responding to that. When. Yeah this is something that's really interesting here one administration official kind of put it this way China is on the verge of having the biggest economy either the second largest defense budget. And they have the biggest navy right now so there's a lot of concern between these allies. About the growing influence of China on the world economy so we saw that being a key issue at the G-7 president Biden was also. Lobbying and pressuring allies to take a tougher stand. Against China and human rights issues and abuses including forced the labor. This is something that is growing and becoming a topic of discussion something that we have not seen in previous G-7 summits or even at NATO summits before. And so president Biden and Neil an NB allies are talking about how to counter China's growing influence that China. The embassy responding Jesse yesterday they're throwing cold water on all of this they're saying that time in which a few nations can decide about how one nation goes for in carries out their business is long gone by and I and looking ahead to that again a big summit with Vladimir Putin would know. About hat that whole thing will go down and how by it is expected to confront Oden. Although Russia's role in recent cyber attacks election interference. Human rights abuses things like that. Yeah I Enceladus is going to be a very candid and directs meeting between the two leaders both of them coming. First face to face for the first time since president Biden. Took office the stakes are high Diane but the expectation from the White House are low they know the fact that president happens slapping sanctions on Russia. For a long time now and little has changed still president Biden believes that the best way to have this conversation about you ask. And Russian relations is face to face. And so we know that this is going to be different and then previous times of four especially the stark contrast the former president Donald Trump. There will be no joint press conference at her river back ins when he eighteen trump came out with a win holding this joint press conference he openly. Question US intelligence about Russian election meddling taking president Vladimir Putin's words ad is we're not gonna see that this time around president Biden will hold his own press conference. We'll take questions directly from reporters there. And this is just coming to a ahead in just a couple of days all of this like I said the White House believes that these meetings with alliances and our partners are gonna put the wind behind Biden's back heading into that critical meeting Diane. All right ABC news congressional correspondent Rachel Scott thanks for HL. And you can watch our full coverage of the Biden Putin's summit on Wednesday right here on ABC news lives. And an ABC news investigation is taking a closer look at the origins of cove in nineteen and the Chinese lab at the center of so many questions. A most scientists say they believe the virus emerged naturally but there are growing calls now to investigate the possibility. Of an accidental leak from a lab in Wuhan China ABC news senior national correspondent Terry Moran has more. They'll Wuhan institute of I relic is one of the leading centers of research on that corona viruses for years the lab has been collecting potentially dangerous viruses. Some from an abandoned copper mine in southwestern China. In 2012 there were these six Chinese miners who went down were sent down into a mine in southern China to clean out the Batman or. They all got infected with what now looks like cope in nineteen like symptoms three of them died. Researchers from the Wuhan lab collective viruses from those caves but they say none matches the virus that caused the pandemic. There is no virus that's close and that that you could use any type of game research to get this hurts Kirby do. That he can hypothesize Reza Paris. That B investigators. At the Wuhan institute of neurology had some virus that was closer and they just weren't telling us about. Do you believe that this virus spent any time. In a laboratory. Before the pandemic absolutely not and that remains the consensus among most virologist that this corona virus has none of the telltale fingerprints of bioengineering. Now concerns that there may have been an. Accidental left oblique or possibly something more disturbing to US intelligence community reporting that there may have been research taking place at that lab. That the public doesn't know about in January the State Department issued a fact sheet on activity at the world on its due to biology that alleged that in the past. The lab collaborated on projects with China's military that it kept secret from the world ABC news has also learned from a former State Department official that the US government was aware of financial account. Tied to the Chinese military that we're funding the Wuhan lab. But this march 1 of the lab's director she's only known as the back woman for extensive research on bat corona viruses directly addressed the allegation. That research was being conducted for the Chinese military. We heard his own dollars. That's me eight eight claimed that. I remember election we have them collecting and I rarely I mean different needs and how little they see who correct. The question is was should Jane Lee telling the truth when she stated emphatically. There was no Chinese military involvement prior to the outbreak at the Wuhan institute of for elegy. If there was her credibility flies out the window. Now all eyes are turning to the next step in this global investigation experts bent on parsing fact from speculation. It's important to stay on my mind it because they don't. Exactly what happened FiOS scratches the surface. A final note more than a year ago top scientists published a letter in the prestigious medical journal lancet that dismissed the lab leak through that call that a conspiracy theory it was hugely influential at the time. Davison is reached out to all 27 scientists who signed that letter about a dozen responded. And help sell other than telling us they are really sure this thing had a natural origin and one scientist telling us. He's flipped entirely he now believes the loudly theory is the more likely possibility. Diane. Very interesting Terry thanks for that ABC news senior national correspondent Terry Moran and you could see more of that ABC news investigation tonight on Nightline. And joining us for more on all of this let's go to ABC news medical contributor and chief innovation officer of Boston Children's Hospital doctor John Brownstein. Doctor Brownstein good morning sole what do you think as you hear about this evolving investigation what are you looking to hear. As they start to reveal more about the origins of cove it. Good morning Daryn. This is something that actually might allow. Ours is moving test to human populations and population. We have a lot of open questions not have a definitive solution. Origins of this are simply don't even know where aren't there any questions is where this fire and to protect humans at low levels Carr who aren't shocked me and my colleagues foremost authorities in this still saying this is an origin of the British moved from animals is humans and it likely came from close cartel had infected animal we still don't know its intermediate host ray discs and that he acted Internet boom that arts into humans and age again you don't even know we're. Because we seed the market was one place but there are many other places to look. For this origins of this virus now of course is loudly and aren't something that is the inch and I think partly because how. Transparency. From the artist you Karachi. So they haven't really allowed us to. Lee will love this loud reached there is being you know. Various data sources of that Pulitzer potentially there was infected lab workers we just don't know yet more transparency. And cooperation from the Chinese Government to be unleashed into the lead our cover and this is not a vote. Finger pointing this is just about trying to understand origin. You need it. Never know what happened it's so important to fully understand it's because it's what allows us improved public health capacity. And so let's have that why is it so important to understanding the origins here is as something that's crucial. For getting this pandemic under controller is this more about preventing future pandemic or both. Fool from my perspective that someone in public Powell it's all about. Understanding the origins is her prevent a future pandemic it's not clear finger ready recognizes political angle to this but if we understand how these fires has emerged which prevent them in the future right if this is his own on its solar we need to be pretty more resources into identifying our asses and animal population each air interface with humans if there was a lap leash and of course we need to create more work in this TER this problem is that you assume that this thing this identification has reached out or SARS is too many years five years identified as Pro Bowl still don't even know and so the scene here is to put the resources and identify problems and how bench and so that we can identify future -- -- rights over human populations. And the first a vaccine. In the US outside a Childs was administered just six months ago to the day now we have more than 62%. Of the eligible population in the US who received at least one dose so far but that's race. Are dropping and now some experts are expressing concerns that is dealt a variant first discovered in India. Could lead to a new wave of infections in the US this fall also doctor browsing how worried. Should we be about this both those of us were vaccinated and those who aren't. I am reluctant to bear watching what's happening UK and restarting its U surgeons cheese is he worried about our backs it right this is the most heated steering yet I haven't yeah sightseeing he's as their team is wrong and yes when you look at the US pieces and cost reasons and strong English that's pretty good when you look at the vaccine -- yet many parts of the country each letter I know just about two thirds. I see it and so you know you you didn't we lessen some parts of the south. I'm worried that we might exude this summer also urged with the delta very especially among. Unvaccinated people in the region are concerned about delta rushed is that it's more infectious. East tension more severe it's in the data we're seeing how did you Danish. It looks like it potentially could a siege. The vaccine is here we actually didn't there was Steve didn't hit it suggests that just after one shot actually backed Muslim 33% protect this puts a lot of pressure all of us get the vaccine being bullied vaccinated English. You know for those at her and backed. Really considered now as the try to do it really prevent a huge surge of despairing really interested other ended when the title she's talking about a murderer. We also know this new study now is out finding that the no the backs of in nineteen shots are about 90% affected how significant. Is that in the global push for vaccinations. Or. I know this is no gonna look like just one more vaccine and not everyone might get super excited I'm personally very excited about it it's worth of data looks very similar to adjourn and our search and it shows hundreds and I think it's each person here does he is not. U percent effectiveness against air hits on and so they know the backs can look for approval and in the fall. Mean on the issue huge change here in the US but if you think about global lacks equity getting this pandemic under control. Everywhere they have the Sox all of 350 million doses global war in the united it will that's that's a very big deal shouldn't Carl mention is that nicotine vaccine is uninteresting potential weapon when it comes to Mr. Bush solid work really well for inexperienced. Meet you could combinations to the already vaccines as an additional mr. Mitterrand's. When excited about. The results from the Trout were great very mild side effects so. I think this could you breed tracks and especially people might be concerned about Marty vaccines as an alternative search we still have to wait for Gator round delta air activity you're making sure that it protects you from from coming parents aren't all about. I talked to John Brownstein always great to have you thank you thanks so much. And real housewives star Erica Jane's ex husband is now accused of stealing millions of dollars when we come back. What they never before aired deposition tapes reveal. Welcome back new video has been released a former high powered lawyer Thomas Girardi ex husband of real housewives star Erica Girardi AK Erica Jane. The 82 year old is accused of stealing millions from his clients in this morning were seen video of him facing questions in the case Deborah Roberts has more. Do you not care about marina yes and he shouldn't shoot an invention. You. You're watching a never before. Air deposition of high powered lawyer 82 year old Thomas Girardi husband of reality TV star Erica Jane do you. Personal. No it won't. It won't think. I am. And eighty billion. And Judy need any Irish. Festival gone. And also in New York who believed. And don't if you didn't national. It's like wow like rope like wrote. Polite but not the clients' money right. Majority stands accused of pocketing up. Fortune from his clients who oftentimes one major financial settlements. Tom has been accused by his own clients people that hired him at trusted them from stealing money. That money allegedly being used to fund their lavish lifestyle of his now estranged 49 year old wife. A star on the real housewives of Beverly Hills. I think the biggest. Question and everybody has as they did she know any of the lawsuits like. Did you have a heads up is that why you that divorce. No I did not. I being wet intrigues people on and the real housewives of Beverly Hills franchise ways that they seen you be this incredible power couple. She's hot and beautiful and confident and then Tom Girardi is this rock star attorney who fights for the little guy. Makes hundreds of millions of dollars. Now majorities stunning fall from grace. Profiled in a new ABC news' original documentary on Hulu. It's very disappointing when you find out. Your lawyer basically robbed you knowing that he knows everything that I have been true for just on the unit. The jovial Gomez badly burned in a 2010 gas pipeline explosion. Was represented by majority but the family now claiming their lawyer stole millions from their settlement forcing them to sue majority to get it back. Sharon says they were his favorite clients of mine deathly never wanted to be as favorite client but I definitely didn't claim he never forgets. This mother joining forces with another mom. They say to expose the truth. I always charted tell people. Never under asked to me the love of her mother you want to find something out and don't call the FBI column. We need those victims haven't seen a dime of their settlement years after they were awarded they'll have to get in line behind others. As the courts tried to liquidate Girardi is a state. So far his estranged wife Erica Jane has not face charges but as they say in the reality show world. Stay tuned. Diane. All right Deborah Roberts thing Q and you can see more in the housewife and a hustler now streaming on Hulu. And that doesn't that is ABC news live update I'm Diane miss Ada thanks for joining us and remember ABC news live is here for you all day. With the latest news context and analysis I'll see you back here at 3 PM eastern with carrying a ran for the breakdown. Stacy had agreed to. Good evening we begin tonight with the decision that will as the president said today affect every American in time. After three months of looking at more than forty candidates mr. Clinton has decided. On the person he wants as the next Supreme Court justice she is judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the bare details of these she's sixty years old. Born in New York. An activist lawyer at one time in the cause of women's rights. A judge with a reputation for having an open mind.

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