ABC News Live Update: Georgia runoff election to determine control of Senate

Plus, the COVID-19 variant has now been detected in New York, and England will enter lockdown following a daily increase of COVID-19 cases across the country.
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Transcript for ABC News Live Update: Georgia runoff election to determine control of Senate
Good morning I'm Diane Macedo thanks for streaming with us in today's update voters in Georgia are heading to the polls. They're casting their final votes today into runoff elections that will determine which party controls the senate. President's son held a packed rally for two Republican senators fighting to keep their seats but he spent most of the time talking about the presidential election instead. Now claiming vice president pens can somehow keep him in the White House. Come through for us if he doesn't come through. Hello like him but as much. The latest on the growing backlash within his own party this morning. Also ahead brought a virus hospitalizations across the country have hit a record high eyes he is an LA county are overrun and emergency rooms. Are now being forced to turn away ambulances and patience. This says the highly contagious new strain of the virus which prompted a full lockdown in the UK. Has now been found in New York State this morning our cameras are taking you inside one lab working to answer the question. Will the vaccines work against the evolving virus. And Lotto fever is in the air not one but two huge jackpot Mega Millions and powerball are up for grabs. We'll someone walk away with one of the biggest prizes in just. We begin with the fallout from that recording of president trump pressing Georgia secretary of state to find the votes to overturn the State's election results. Now Georgia's Republican election officials are. Overnight in Georgia something rarely before seen in this country an American president desperately clinging to power refusing to believe the reality that he lost an election and. And then I'd taken this White House look at a fight like hell I'll tell you. To be a rally for the two Republicans in Georgia's special election the outcome of today's high stakes vote determines which party controls the senate. But president trump was fixated on his own election. Us judge has. Who's in all three of the State's counts. And as congress prepares to certify the election results tomorrow president from delivering a not so veiled threat to vice president might pence who will preside over the joint session. I welcome Mike. Minutes comes through for us I have the time. Our great vice president comes through or she's a great guy. City doesn't come through I won't like it but as much. But parents does not have the power to overturn the election this a day after the release of that stunning call the president seemingly threaten Georgia's Republican secretary of state telling him to recalculate the results and find more votes. Well I wanted to do it I didn't want to behind. 111780. Loves. Now president from delivering a new threats that we hear any Aaron. And I got to be campaigning against the governor and you're crazy secretaries. The backlash fierce one top Republican election official in the state delivering this scathing rebuke the president's legal team from our point intentionally misled the states than it. Voters the people the United States Republican senator Pat Toomey calling the recording a new low in this whole few Thailand sorry episode. And from congresswoman Liz Cheney one of the top Republican leaders in the house and and Democrats asking the FBI to investigate this as more than half of house Republicans and thirteen Republican senators. Are expected to challenge the results of the election when congress formally counts the Electoral College votes tomorrow what is usually it's on the free ceremony that takes less than an hour. Is now expected to be a long drawn out fight. With the president's allies potentially forcing an all night debate even though they do not have the votes to overturn Biden's decisive win. Backing Georgia president elect Joseph Biden on the attack. Politicians can't not a certain take or seized power. Carr as given granted by the American people alone. And president Chavez called on his supporters to show up for protests and they are listening there's a protest planned for later today here in Washington. And another protest tomorrow the supporters of president trump have a permit to host 30000 people. Expected to gather here behind me the president also expected to be. In attendance and Washington DC officials they are very concerned about the possibility Diana of violence the proud boys an extremist groups. Like that are expected to be in attendance in the police. It is city have already arrested the leader of the proud boys when he showed up. To town yesterday and now Diane the National Guard have been activated. To try and keep the peace in the city. Diane who. Thing everyone say say today's Cecilia Vega in Washington thank you. And more than three million people have already cast their ballots in Georgia as a last voters head to the polls today to decide control of the senate. A Democrats need to win both elections to get to a 5050 tied making vice president elect Kumble at Harris. The deciding vote. Other races appeared to be neck and neck 530 eight's polling average shows Democrat John offs off with a slight edge over Republican David Perdue. And Democrat Rafael warn knocked is leading Republican Kelly Loeffler by just over two points ABC's Al when Lopez joins us now from Atlanta. With more on this Alan Georgia has been a national spotlight for weeks now but it all comes down. T today so what are the candidates and parties doing to try to get those last voters out. Think they're mourning band so we are enough final stretch and I can tell you this that voters here. Has already started to show up to cast their ballots and enforced understand that the stakes here are high already more than. Three million people have cast they're not have today that isn't double early turnout from 2018. And even with those numbers so high. We saw at least a dozen people here. Waiting in line before the doors even opened this morning. And what are you hearing from voters. So what is telling us lesson I can tell you this myself whipping getting mail text phone calls. Nonstop. And so they're saying not only to importing to vote India's election but it is also their civic duty take a listen. For me it's a big deal because. We see here the power of the individual. You know each of us have a a purpose on this earth god put each of us here to make a difference and every now and then you get to see it very clearly and this is an election where every vote counts every individual counts. And it's a powerful message that in general in life each of us are very important. And each of us can to make a world of a difference. You know my grandparents were holocaust survivors and they taught us that. Your politics are pried it but you always must vote. And it's important to point out that we might not know the results here for days and and Ellen now officials are looking into threats at polling locations we had to say get touch on this a little bit what's the latest. Yes so the Georgia Bureau of Investigation says that's what taking a look into specific threats in to spin it different counties so we know that. They're keeping an eye on this are patrolling those polling precincts and make sure that voters are safe. Diane. Allen Lopez in Atlanta thanks Ellen. And as a senate prepares to certify the Electoral College vote tomorrow president trump is now putting pressure. I'm vice president Mike Pence to quote come through for him as you heard in that address chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl has more on that John good morning. Good morning Diane. When the congress gets together to formally count the elect oral votes tomorrow. It'll be Mike Pence that's presiding this is what always happens it is the vice president. In his role as the president of the senate who presides over the formal accounting of the elect oral votes. It's a purely ceremonial role Mike Pence doesn't actually have any. Power here he simply reads the results he literally reads from a script it has provided from the parliamentarian. But I am told that the president's has repeatedly made it clear to his vice president the expects. To use. That position as presiding over these electoral votes. To effectively deny. Judge Joseph Biden the elect moral victory to overturn any elections as he is presiding over this counting of the elect oral votes. And IE you heard the president directly raise this in his rally in Georgia. Saying that he hopes Mike Pence does the right thing. I can tell you this did the Mike Pence fully knows I've been told by people very close to him. Fully knows that he has no power to do anything but to announce the results that authority. Been made clear. But they are worried they are really worried. That Donald Trump will lash out at parents after this is over after parents has to be the one that officially announces the results they are worried. That Donald Trump will take it out on parents if he either doesn't understand that parents as role is purely ceremonial or he does not accept that fact Diane. Right Jon Karl in Washington thank you and some LA hospitals are now turning away critical patients as the US hits a new record for people hospitalized with cold in nineteen. I see news a Los Angeles county are at 300%. Capacity. Ambulances are now being told not to transport victims of gunshot wounds heart attacks and car crashes who have little chance of surviving. Matt Gutman is there. This morning public health officials are warning the cove a crisis is spiraling out of control. Forcing some yours and I see use to turn away patients. If you have someone going in the labor having a heart attack. Who gets into a car accident on an icy road. They may not have a bed because the icu their fault. Nationwide a record 120000. People hospitalized because of coop it. In LA county the situation is so dire that ambulance crews are now being advised to cut back on oxygen use. And not to transport patients with little chance of survival to hospitals. And last week Martin Luther King hospital in south L lake declaring an internal disaster. Turning away ambulances for several hours the positively rate there is he staggering 32%. Well you know to kind of thing you might do is here has been some. Catastrophic. Event that has disabled the hospital for example like what. You know like the saying wait I error or facility or. A bomb exploded or something like that. California bracing 42 search from. The Christmas and New Year's holidays the state now reporting at least six cases of that highly contagious UK Barrett. It's nonstop. And it it has been for the last few weeks and you know we're all hands on deck rather eat it more fun it. And our own leader that that announced that. Lately it's been all day you know normally we have a wondered Tuesday. But there have been days recently ordered that he and says that's not that comment. And while we were interviewing MO case doctor Jason messing with the ice you think they're was a commotion behind its. All he broke off the interview to help person. And we'll be. Yeah that I mean fairly. Stable for now. Meanwhile frustration nationwide is mounting as the rollout of the vaccine spotters in Florida seniors camping out overnight. Try to get their chance of hope. Logistics up yeah. And the vaccinations. Needs to improve. So frustrating so freshening agent in New York the governor they're threatening hospitals with a 100000 dollars lined up to if the vaccine seats on the shelf longer than a week they have to move different scene and they have to move the vaccine faster. We talked about that overcrowding 300% capacity at the icu. And this is the chapel the meditation room. It's now being used as overflow space you can see those pots behind me. It just across the hallway in this blast off area this used to be the gift shop. It's now another examination space and later today the National Guard arriving at this hospital to help. That's how bad it is here Diane. That is something seem to get shot being used as a treatment room not gotten in thank you. And the United Kingdom is under a strict new national lockdown this morning as a new strain of the virus is contributing to a dramatic surge in cases. James Lyman joins me now with more on that national shut down and James good morning what is this lockdown. In tail and why now. Good morning Diane well I think ends in kind of very clear times what you just sold that from month's report is. Being replicated here in the United States not having the situation here in Britain is asked about if no less actually was seeing a sustained period of case numbers more than 50000 new cases of infection a day over a number of days. And the number of deaths as well as being replicated. And being reflected and the death tells if you look at the death till now princesses. Hi that it was. At the beginning of December so it is being driven. Officials think buying this he mutation announced Y. The government has made this decision so he went back down to pay a full national don't want you. The in. In the air and lost here in moss so. All nonessential businesses have closed people are being ordered to stay home and not allowed to socialize any longer the any businesses account remain I've been a thing like supermarkets construction markets. Can continue to what anyone who can't reasonably do that job from home is allowed to continue a pretty much go back to where we were in March with a hug. That these vaccines will release Britain but the picture here is very grim indeed and James how are people they're reacting to this. But I think there's a real sense of depression unit that. We had moments and moments of locked down. Continual promises by the government that the end it was just around the corner oh getting a hound DelHomme things and yet here we are again. I think obviously lessons were learned I've little down people. What count how they could survive. Fold those moments that without seeing friends and found me about being able to what. But I think fundamentally people kind of angry about the some Stults Stults. Kind of process over the last few months particularly with schools just as an example of the last few weeks the government repeat case. That loss that may be tougher restrictions schools would stay open really top until. Yes today when its schools students returned after the Christmas break every 1041 day and a prime minister made the hospital's size 8 o'clock that everything would place. Analyst children now a back to you. Home minding we think their children you have to do serious exams that in this country age sixteen and then again age eighteen. And you know for them to mess around this way and that parents of course after what how to. Continue their blood while for the same time home schooling very typical so I think. There is the sense that the government has reacted late to every juncture. To this issue and there are other major problems that the virus as. Kind of maybe even plus when it comes to kind of things like the inequality gap is those who are going back to what he what is people like bus drivers and cleaners. A finalist in low income what is and that they themselves on the front line that. Making themselves more vulnerable to the virus that people are saying what we gonna do about that you gonna put prioritize them gonna give them the vaccine for us. Doesn't seem to be a little planning oh not a and I think that's what some people are fading. More than that of the press this morning and James so much hope is now hanging. On the vaccines the UK is doing things differently from the US so what is the vaccine plan their right now. Well the plan now is to give as many people as possible the first dose all of the vaccine identifies. All they AstraZeneca vaccine as to have been authorized. Here in Britain the hope that three weeks off that bus dice you do get some kind of immunity in their prime minister that she quite clear last night on. Exactly how he plans to roll the south and if in the in the first instance. You how those incan times and can't let this he'll get the art scene for us anyone who the front line health workers well they took an anti viral and anyone age seventy and above. And the idea is to get as many of those people vaccinated. By mid February as possible. So that restrictions can then be lifted unless the country is something like fourteen million people thought as they. Big big toss. If you welcome that time frame. By mid February that it once had one does it might be for another few weeks off to the until they've got some kind of immunity set up needs us to believe it probably going to be an up down. And today at least some mosques battle hands on the idea you can backs and eighteen million people a week. I'm a lot of people think that's possible but would have to wait and seeing people fingers crossed lot of patients. Editor in James long an in London thank you. A New York is now the latest state to detect that new strain of the virus first found in the UK the big question this morning. Will the vaccines work against this new strain our Jeanette Norman went inside a lab where researchers are working to answer that question. This morning another confirmed case of that highly contagious variant of the corona virus. In the US this time in New York a sixty year old man with no history of recent travel. He was symptomatic. But he is on demand and he's doing. Better that patient connected to this there are toga springs jewelry store. Three other people they are also testing positive but it's not known if they contracted that same variant first detected in the UK. New York now the fourth state in the country along with Colorado California and Florida. To have known cases of the UK variant believed to be more contagious but not more deadly than the original strain of corona virus. Experts say it's likely an even more states a time a new variant is detected it's already probably widespread. Virologist doctor Dan Farouk is just one of the scientists racing to keep up with the evolving virus and new variants causing concern not only the UK shrink but now experts say another variant first detected in South Africa. May spread even more easily. At this lab and Boston they're studying the genetic sequence of variant of the corona virus like the new variant found in the UK and South Africa to determine how effective. Kobe vaccines are. The general. Suspicion. Is that. These current variants are still likely susceptible to vaccines. However we don't know that yet. And X parents are going to be under way in many labs across the world. To determine that in the very near future but doctor Farooq calls it a race against time to get the pandemic under control the in murders of the new variants. Increases. The need for a rapid vaccine roll out a rapid vaccine campaign in the United States and throughout the world. And also it increases the importance. Public health measures. And doctor berg says having a vaccine certainly helps but he says the US should be doing more Covert testing more tracing and more regular testing for Kobe variants he says early detection of a new variant. Is key Diane. Mansion in Norman thanks for that in let's bring in ABC news medical contributor doctor John Brownstein. For more on this doctor Brown's day in this new UK strain we're now seeing in the US is said to be more contagious but. They've been a lot of different numbers thrown out as to how much more contagious and what that actually means so. What does the data tell us at this point. Right. So the good news that the data does say it but this I knew Jerry it is not received your entrance consultations and and there's got to be different terms if symptoms and outcomes so those are all good data ports there is. Preliminary data that shows that it's likely to be 50% more chance that ball so that means that it just more efficiently entering into the sell it doesn't necessarily change the dynamics of transmission notes still about our direct contact. Aerosol but it will be more keeps is overall and the concern we have is more transmissible parent would just be more key issues which ultimately means more hostile patients and that's so it's not a more severe barrier but the data shows us that we could lead to a bigger search and ultimately leads to really. Our Gary outside milestones were sort of in his Sheehan the next couple months of porch. So do we need to be doing anything differently as a result wearing a different kind of mask are keeping even more distance from others that kind of thing. Right so it's still the same virus threats all the precautions we've been taking shape right up in the same wage it just means that. And barks we transmit more efficiently so we sort of just doubled down on these interventions not wearing social distancing meeting we don't need to change anything specifically but we need to be more vigilant we need to make sure we're unique dish practice social distancing you shouldn't be staying at home if we don't need to be out Cameron are you know working doing anything essential that is why the next couple months or so critical were waiting for the sharks in which we hate all worked against this he very likely does that mean like now's the cards used the key sort of non pharmaceutical actions like -- social that's something that's what we have our disposal today. And the UK's in a national lockdown in hopes of controlling. This new strain but we're already seeing it in Colorado California Florida and now New York State so. Are we heading for a full lockdown in the US. Yeah this is conversation you know I've had many times you've about walked down at such an extreme strategy and we know that our ports if you walk down can control the pandemic well what we're trying to keep our schools opened itself where you know we can't do more to reduce our current tax increase testing reduced tarnish indoor dining. And we still don't have basic things don't happen national math we're waiting for that we don't. The national strategy we're still waiting about so again there are things could be doing that we're not worried about walk down comes into play. Remember we had yet to see him power to the holidays you know we're we're gonna keep that in the next week virtue about point in me yet a point where we just can't do enough in transit targeted intervention. You need you look yet more widespread rock and hopefully we don't get to that point but unfortunately may be heading in the same direction of UK. It's actor John Brownstein sorry to hear it but thank you for being here. Thank you and a few more things to know before you go March Madness we'll have a new look this year. The entire tournament will take place inside a bubble in Indianapolis in the surrounding area with six venues hosting games. The decision comes after last year's tournament was canceled at the start of the pandemic. The final four is still planned for April 3 and April 5. It could be a good week to buy a lottery ticket or to both Mega Millions and powerball or more than 400 million dollars something that has only happened. Twice before. Lottery sales have been down which experts think is due in part to the pandemic. The chances of winning either pot is about 100 in 300 million. But if someone wins tomorrow night's drawing it will be the tenth largest prize in Mega Millions history and if you win both. The take home about 800 million not bad. And a mysterious site in the sky has people Hawaii's scratching their heads. Several people say they saw an unidentified flying object over the island of a watt bulb prompting 911 calls. But glowing blue object which one eyewitness described as larger than a telephone call sailed across the sky for several miles before crashing into the ocean. The FAA says there were no missing planes in the area people on the Internet are trying to offer some explanations. Including that it could be an LEB kite. Sure. And that does if it is ABC news live update I'm Diane Maceda thanks for joining us. I remember ABC news live is here for you all day with the latest news context in an axis. I'll see you back here at 11 AM eastern.

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