ABC News Live Update: Millions in Texas still without clean water

Plus, Pfizer is working on a new vaccine trial for pregnant women, and a look at LeBron James’ historic milestone.
30:37 | 02/19/21

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Transcript for ABC News Live Update: Millions in Texas still without clean water
Good morning I'm Diana stayed up thanks for streaming with us in today's update more than thirteen million Texans are being forced to boil water. Or even snow to drink after historic date trees knocked out power pipes and water plants. Cars were encased in ice after water lines broken parking garage is an as a power slowly comes back on officials now admit. The Texas grid was just two minutes from a catastrophic blackout. Meanwhile Texas senator Ted Cruz is facing backlash after escaping the blackout and taking his family. The Cancun what he said overnight about his decision to leave during the crisis. Also ahead at least forty states are reporting disruptions to vaccine shipments because of the weather. Many are now having to postpone or cancel appointments business buys or launches a new vaccine trial testing its vaccine safety for pregnant women. Doctor Scott Eller and is standing by with more on that. And mission accomplished the perseverance rover has committed historic touchdown on Mars. Watch ground controls reaction after it landed successfully pressured. So many years of hard work there in the making it now forcing the extraordinary first images coming in from the red planet's. 300 million miles away I'll answer the question. Is there life on Mars. We begin in ten. Says for the power is slowly coming back on more than 150000. People though are still without electricity down from a peak of more than four million. Residents though are still facing dangers water shortages after the blackout affected water plants and freezing temperatures. Burst pipes and cracked wells summer even resorting to boiling snow. Marcus Moore is in Dallas with the latest. This morning the power is slowly turning back on in parts of Texas but millions are facing get another crisis. After extra mass power outages led to pipes bursting across the state. This morning more than thirteen million are being told to boil their water if they haven't. And with no water around 75 firefighters in San Antonio. Left to battle this massive inferno well into Thursday night at this apartment complex in impossible conditions our main concern is water supply. Always titles under scrutiny water firefighters forced to get their water down the street. Bulls unrelenting flames ripping through the building this from make a little bit of advancing fire. Ground water officials say the fire was between the second and third floors and before long -- the building. Into the parking these cars all catching on fire embers surrounding a firefighter red smoke billowed into the sky governor Abbott speaking out overnight all of us at. Agree on the necessity. But action not just action that's taken to restore your power but to action to ensure that you never have to endure anything like this ever again. The bid statewide damage and devastation we're now learning in bulls almost much worse. Are cut the agency responsible for managing 90% of the State's electricity revealing that the Texas grid. Was minutes away from catastrophic failure on Sunday it will. Second minute give any amount of generation that would coming opposite. While the state avoided the worst case scenario millions of Texans still struggling to keep their families safe warm and dry this mother was forced to burn her top those toys to stay warm. While rationing oxygen tanks for her five month old son. One with premature lungs had a Griffin who suffers from into social lung disease needed to ration her oxygen supply for days my story and it has seen. As millions finally turn that lights back on many confronting horrific damage. It's a Solder water. In Dallas this man's apartment destroyed pipes burst in the building. At worst though Walt was splitting up into and throughout all the pandemic rages on health care workers at medical city health care going above and beyond. One of our CEOs picked up 54. Colleagues. To bring to the hospital in the weather so that they can care for our patients and once they arrive hospitals providing employees with food. And the safe place to sleep we have sixteen hospitals to. And hundreds of employees and colored inks that are staying in the hospital. Overnight to be able to be ready to care for patients day and night. And Marcus Moore joins me live now from Dallas market is good morning as Tex is getting the federal support that it needs right now. Diane good morning wall there are a couple of military jets that are expected to fly into Galveston. Galveston island which has been essentially cut off from all services. It's bringing those planes or bring in supplies and also generators and fuel has been delivered to hospitals are better meeting a lot of that that a self. It is coming. And on top of the other eight coming from the federal government are also everyday people here. Doing what they can to provide generators food and water for anybody who need to. And the markets and what is the power grid failure there's something similar happened. Ten years ago so what are we know about why the issue was resolved. At that time and what are they doing now to prevent this from happening again. OK well yet 2011 and back during that. That time com actually taxables actually hosting the Super Bowl there was little massive power outages during that and subsequently Merrill. Were recommendations that were made to two. Better out winterize the infrastructure here. And there were some. Changes made them and some new ideas adopted but for the most part. Leave power producers but could do whatever they admit they want and and they warned that mandated to whether rise some of the the infrastructure in so is because of that. According to experts that when this storm hit. It froze up some of the power generating. Facilities here across the state and it'll lead to to the issues the other. Bit of detail that we've learned Diane from from her Cobb. Because it simply they did not plan as much is planning as they did put in the place they were not prepared for how extreme. This storm was going to be with temperatures. Hanging in the single digits or below. For a long period of time and then also the BB amount of demand that existed for power in the midst of all of this. They did not plan for that. Karen Marcus Moore and Dallas thank you can as the storm system moves across the country bringing snow and freezing temperatures to the north east. Senior meteorologist rob Marciano standing by in Philadelphia taking a look at what it's doing there now rob good morning. Hey good morning Diane snow then Slade then a freezing drizzle coding and all. Over an idol layer of thin eyes across the cars. Some industry till lease is secondary streets and somebody sidewalks as well our justice she device at least the ones that have mid assaulted this one right here is certainly slick underfoot the best way to get her crown. There's the fight itself copies of abuse is now then get a little bit attraction there and they come across the staircase like that that looks like it's now pretty climb up Bob but guess what. This is. This is flared up and our ace ponder about Candice pages or snow so this is an area that has seen. Storm hunters storm for the past three weeks really that's really been the case for much of the northeast by this ice that Finley or mice that really has taken its whole. On the streets I 95 years outside of Philly and Delaware. Part of that interstate shut down because of snow and ice I 81 and Roanoke Virginia major crash there are factors over 80000 people across of review years. That are without power. Because they haven't seen I think the worst of it as far as the ice his concern especially in Richmond Virginia's been very slow to move out they've extended. Mostly winter warnings and advisories. In a well into the Arab community do you see a little bit of light drizzle fog continues to fall here in temperatures dat. Or right below the freezing mark in this stretch is still all the way back into taxes we are not a pulse of ice and still come to Texas and Louisiana. Last night nut trees came down in parts of Louisiana not now more power there's so adding insult to injury but. Once we get let it ring this last piece of winter priest of this last offer low in the atmosphere. That's gonna switch up the pattern. That's gonna allow at least the deep south and the southern plains Texas including of course to finally start to warm up and that begins in earnest. This weekend thankfully but here in the northeast winter is still weak or the end of winter should say is still weeks away. Diane. All right rob Marciano Philadelphia thanks rob. For more on all this let's bring in chief meteorologist ginger zee here in New York in ginger where is this winter weather heading now. Well with a fresh three almost three and a half inches of snow here in York city leaving into the top ten snowy as February's record and you can see right below me it wasn't just now that it was freezing rain sleet I've even seen some grappled. So it is like a crusty mess on top of that fresh self and that's why it's so difficult to get around there's almost an inch of snow back in parts of Pennsylvania pocono summit with a point nine report. Said you wanna taking to the timing as I know rob was just telling you about how long it's gonna stick around it's really through tonight into early tomorrow morning for parts of new England's of its Connecticut. Eastern Massachusetts you'd still be seeing some snow on the roads especially if you're traveling this evening or after dinner. Then we'll get rid of it by tomorrow but there are still several. Freeze warnings and wind chill alerts on the map and that unfortunately stretches all the way backed where friends and Texas. And ginger this south. Is still in that deep freeze but you say there is some good news on the way for them. Yes I mean yesterday Del Rio, Texas right on the Mexican border had eleven point two inches of snow the most they've ever seen. In recorded history including four hours but didn't see the numbers this morning and they are in the teens are that's funny is this is not comfortable even if you do have electricity. But they don't and a lot of places from the air through Jackson Mississippi Columbus, Georgia even wind chill alerts as far north as Memphis so we're going to be watching this the next 24 hours and then those steel high and ribbons damaging that trough. That's gonna start to relax we're gonna Ben that jet stream north and we're going to allow fifties and sixties to get back to the places. Like Texas Louisiana and Mississippi Diane. Hiring of so chief meteorologist ginger zee a New York thank you. And at least forty states are reporting disruptions to vaccine deliveries due to the storms. Nearly all of the doses that were supposed to be delivered to your New York this week have not arrived. Now people who are supposed to get their shots we'll have to reschedule either pilgrim has the latest on that. This morning mother nature halting the supply of Kobe nineteen vaccines at least forty states affected. Forcing a putting cancellations from coast. Across the country people forced to reschedule their vaccinations. New Jersey's governor now says his state will shut down mass vaccination site. Because they just don't have the supply. Because of the nationwide. Weather situation less because a what's going on a New Jersey right now. We know there going to be supply chain issues lets you jerseys vaccines at stranded in the midwest and south or massive snow has pummeled shipping routes the shipping delay now postponing appointments even in states like Arizona that aren't seeing the winter weather. They say was due to eleven. The shipment was. So delayed but we have not had any idea whether she. And it just happens they're a strange country and shipments. In Massachusetts the governor looking at sending the National Guard to bring vaccines to his state we're currently talking to the National Guard are. And then they will do this Obama going down to Kentucky and in Tennessee which is where news is currently located. Embryo in Chicago's city officials were also forced to close mega vaccination sites in recent days. But demand is soaring for those smaller locations that remained open there were almost no cancellation. I'm really in the morning to get this vaccine so. It if I had to walk I would walk the hour over here I wouldn't in this disappointment. Now after promising every American will have access to a vaccine by the end of July the White House is now pushing to get back on track doctors balance sheet saying that once this weather clears we'll have to work double time. To make up for it there's also some positive news. On the research from Kaiser is now watching a clinical trial. Looking into pregnant women they will also study the newborn Sissy if those antibodies are passed from mom to child. As for now the recommendation from the CDC if you are pregnant talk to your doctor about what's best for you. And your baby Diane. All right you pilgrim in New York thank you and we will have more on that Pfizer trial coming up. Meanwhile Texas senator Ted Cruz now says it was a mistake after going on vacation amid one of the worst weather disasters in Texas history. Photos of his family heading to Cancun went viral prompting backlash against the senator. ABC's Trevor all has that story. Following swift backlash over night senator Ted Cruz saying it was a mistake to leave Texas in the midst of an unprecedented crisis. To take his family to Mexico themes obviously mistaken in hindsight it. I wouldn't on the that's trying to be adaptive cruise says the ill timed vacation was planned ought to win after the power went out at his family's Houston home we had spent. Two days without power. And my girls wanted to take a trip with their friends and frankly get somewhere. Where it was warm and I flew them down last night and that I just flew back today text messages obtained by the New York Times allegedly sent by Cruz's wife Heidi revealed a family invited friends to join them in Cancun and stay at the Ritz Carlton. Because their house was freezing. While crews originally seemed to indicate he was simply dropping off his daughters and returning Thursday. He now admits to planning on staying in Mexico through the weekend and working remotely. Before changing his mind. I started having second thoughts almost. The Mo and I sat down on the plane so I'd I'd change my return flight and then and flew back. On the first available flight I could take on Wednesday photos showing the Cruz family at Houston's airport in aboard that flight bound for Cancun quickly went viral trip prompting fierce backlash as millions in taxes went without. Power and water. Houston's democratic may you're unleashing harsh criticism. Where is certainly much warmer where he's going it while the Republican governor declined to comment candidly. I haven't been following people's vacation plans we've we've been work and little literally. All night fox knew his host calling out the senator. This is kind of day one stuff if you're a politician and if there is whether disaster here stayed. You don't go on a tropical vacation even late night comics taking aim and crews are while his fellow Texans. Are freezing or with the power out Ted Cruz did what. Any great leader would do an estate needs leadership most people to flight to Mexico and said adios amigos. On Thursday afternoon cameras caught the senator pulling the suitcase through T include international airport heading home. Where protesters were gathered outside. And demanding crews resign. That's why it's warmer weather and people are freezing in the she's exactly how out of touch she is people who are dying. Cruz then sitting down for an interview with our Houston station KT RK I don't like this being used as a distraction. From the real issues we wouldn't be a distraction he'd stayed here and he says he's seeing things bright and got now yeah industries. Guy grades from the. Or re haters screaming resign I think that is a sad sign of where we are I don't do that other people. But cruises past criticism of democratic rivals is now back in the spotlight in 1 December tweed attacking Austin mayor Steve. Adler and other Democrats for traveling while telling constituents to stay home. Crews called them hypocrites complete and utter hypocrites. And this morning there are some Republicans who are criticizing senator crews not for going off to Mexico but for how he's responded to this backlash. Florida congressman Matt gates said on Twitter. Ted Cruz should not have apologized. Diane. All right Trevor alt in Houston thank you. And I Coleman nineteen vaccines safe for pregnant women Pfizer is now trying to answer that question launching a new vaccine trial testing the shot. Not expecting moms what you need to know and when we could have some answers. Plus mission accomplished. We'll take you behind NASA's historic mission to Mars. When we come back. Welcome back president Biden will lay out his form policy vision a virtual G-7 summit today. He's also expected to make a big announcement about donating vaccines to pour country's senior White House correspondent Mary Bruce has the latest Mary good morning. Diane good morning while the president is hitting the road this morning heading out to Kalamazoo Michigan to visit a Pfizer vaccine manufacturing plant to be meeting with workers they're making the case for his nearly two trillion dollar Colin relief bill this is part of Biden's push to try and sell this plan and drum up support. Across the country depressing often cites the fact that polls show the majority of Americans back these proposals including more than a third of Republican. Voters the back here in Washington of course Republican lawmakers are still not on board they say the price tag. Is just too steep Democrats though are moving ahead. To do this on their own in the house they're hoping to pass this by the end of next week they want is legislation signed. Before he unemployment benefits expire in the middle of march now before the president heads out today he'll actually be taking his first steps virtually under the international stage participating in two peace summit and trying to begin to reshape America's image abroad. And won't shift US policy dramatically in the wake. Of the drug administration we're told he'll be focusing on three key priorities a pandemic the economic crisis and climate change and the president will come today with a big announcement. That the US is going to be donating four billion dollars to help provide vaccines to some of the world's poorest countries you know a 130 countries still have yet to receive a single dose this is an effort to try and begin to counter that and of course another milestone today US is officially back. In the Paris climate accord. Diane. Their neighbors in Washington Forrest thanks Mary. And the World Health Organization recommending. That pregnant women do not get the vaccine uncle had nineteen vaccine that is until there's more information. On how it affects them and their babies now Pfizer is launching a study to test the safety and effectiveness. Up its vaccine for expecting mothers agent banker has the details. They are among the most vulnerable to the corona virus. This morning Pfizer announcing that it is starting trials of its Kobe nineteen vaccine. On pregnant women the pharmaceutical giant along with its German partner by on tech administering the vaccine to the first participants at a large study. With hopes the vaccine is proven safe and effective for expectant moms and babies. Well we're hoping it's gonna show. Gone. I a significant immunological response in the mom as well as in the infant so they both. Individuals who rule. Benefit. Until now there's been very little data on the coded vaccine safety in pregnant women since they were initially left out of the clinical trial that they get the vaccine are not part of a study so. They don't have anybody levels measured. So we don't know exactly what the anybody levels. All are in pregnant women in nor do we know what it is. In infants the trial will include about 4000 healthy pregnant women around the world within 24 to 34 weeks of pregnancy. Here in the US the study involves 21 different locations I would saying. We're probably looking three to four months somewhere or not range where we should have some useful data. According to the CDC women who are expecting are at greater risk of developing severe illness from Kobe nineteen doctor Anthony found she recently said that about 20000. Pregnant women have already been vaccinated with no red flags the CDC says for those expecting the vaccine is a personal choice. But the World Health Organization says that due to a lack of information it does not recommend the vaccination of pregnant women at this time experts agree that further studies are vitally needed. There's still a lot of questions about it could provide a lot of peace of mind for moms that women will be monitored for about seven to ten months and then their babies once they're born. We'll be watched for up to six months Diane. Right aging banker lot of people watching that study closely thank you. And infectious disease specialist ABC news medical contributor doctor Todd Ireland joins me now. For more on all of this including at that study on vaccines for pregnant women doctor Halloran. Good morning great to have you as always so. Right now what is this conversation election pregnant women. Wait too but get the vaccine until learning the results of this study your or is this a case by case basis. I think it's a case by case basis I don't premier recommending that my pregnant women that I see. I tell them that I think the benefits outweigh the risks but of course it's a personal decision we have to respect don't want them based on. Here's the good news so far about 20000. Pregnant women have received a call the vaccine. In the US and Eric has been no CD signals so look safe so far. But we have to have a firm landing on this question so I think I really applaud Pfizer in the fact it. You know what we just heard from a period piece that her role in about 4000 pregnant women between 24 and 36 weeks that's late second trimester and third trimester and they're gonna randomized spending some of the pregnant women will get the vaccine some will get placebo Campbell will more definitively be able to answer that question is the vaccine safe in pregnancy but so far it looks so. It's very rare that we see randomized trials on pregnant women why do you think a decision was made to do it in this case. You're so who right I mean I just think that it is. We we're in the middle of a global crisis and I think it took this type of just who kind of level level of danger around the world this is this plague in order to get scientists and and ethicists to be able to say you know what let's go forward who does and it makes sense so are any other groups that you can we concede these kinds of studies on groups that there are concerns about when it comes with a vaccine. Right so you don't already Pfizer is fully enrolled there on twelve to fifteen age group remember there are. They have EU way for the sixteen and older so we should get your data on that over the next few months intimate Dern I started rolling in in December. They are rolling kids. Aged twelve to seventeen remember they have any way for eighteen and older so it is very possible that these are teams that are in and preteens medial be best leader before school starts in the fall. And then Pfizer also says it's emitting data to the FDA showing that. They're vaccine might not have to be stored at those extremely cold temperatures. That we've seen so far what is the data show and how helpful would that be. Diane I don't know if you remember B you asked me this may be bought for five months before we talk to vote. You know how stability data can change a retired disease good news so now the fire as a vaccine can distort these pharmaceutical grade freezers lightly Dern I'm not like our home -- which are zero but at temperatures of like mine is thirteen Fahrenheit minus five parent and what's good news he eats just one step further to decrease or logistical challenges but it. Please remember that we heavy global. The vaccine vacuum right now. Do over a 130 countries have not received any vaccine so we really have to make sure that we get this vaccine. Around the world in not just to reach resource rich countries remember you know what's helping and one part of the world cannot that other parts of the world I think that's this pandemic has taught us that last. Don't less than. Then and some experts are predicting that we could actually reach herd immunity. April do you think that's possible and what are the driving factors behind that prediction. This is really unanswered question and I'm gonna tell you I'm not sure but I do think it's possible and this is why we could talk don't mess skiing in distancing. And we've improved in the orbit I don't think that's really the driving factors all the we have to can T continue to do that. I think. Would want people are thinking is there's been enough natural infection has been about twenty million confirmed cases in the United States. Remember we think this plays three to four times more. I don't confirms that puts us in about a hundred million overall infections acute today. Now there's been about 57 million doses of vaccine given in April hopefully will be closed today. You know hundred pungent fifteen million dose range so if you. Those numbers up it is possible that we need you able to drive down the virus to the point where. If a person is infected. They will not be able to transmit it twin no other person that's what I mean that the reproductive number falls to less than one and now you're on your help to herd immunity. So it is now the next question Diana is how Long Will that herd immunity last and that's where the variance coming in and next generation vaccines are remember. There is that cycle. It seems like there's always a cats to the good news but we will take the good news as we can get a doctor Allan great to talk to you thank you. Great art in June. Up from seven minutes of tea are too full on celebration. Nine successful landings on more. Please go behind the historic mission to Mars after the break stay with us. Welcome back that's historic mission to Mars new images overnight are showing NASA's rover perseverance is a start searching for signs of life on the red planet. GO Benitez has the latest. Overnight the rover perseverance feeding back its first images remorse as it searches for signs of life after landing that turned mission control into a celebration. Perseverance tweeting hello world's my first look at my forever home. The rover. Traveling 300 million miles for seven months successfully getting through the seven minutes of scare. All fiery and dangerous and trillions of course atmosphere that the rover had to do entirely on its own. Landing in just zero freighter and ancient just. Right up late about the size of Lake Tahoe. Nine successful landings on Mars. Humvee only decent nation that's been able to do that just just incredible. President Biden watching the landing from the White House. And we were there as he called the acting NASA administrator. Hello Mr. President this hospital now look so Percy says hello sir what did he say he said congratulations deserves congratulations band. Content and he said that you know Jesus so excited for the team. And so excited for what this demonstrates. It's of the country in the world that we can still do. Incredible things. Hanson who person who collected more sense to answer once and for old was there ever why flown more cars. And that landing was very dramatic but really this is just the beginning for perseverance it has a lot of work ahead of it there on the red planet it's going to be collecting samples there over the next few months and be sending back some images for us to see a lot of them in color and perhaps even Diane. Some sounds from Mars. GO you can tell they urges beaming the excitement in that room was palpable. So glad you got to be there to witness that. And a few more things to know before you go country music icon Dolly Parton has been decades working nights and five and then some in her home state of Tennessee but she's now asking state lawmakers to stop plans for a statue in her honor on a national capitol grounds. And if that's you would recognize Dolly for everything she's contributed Tuesday but she writes an instant Graham. Given all that's going on in the world I don't think putting Rihanna. I feel is appropriate at this time. She went on to say that she hopes somewhere down the road several years from now she'll stand proud in the State Capitol as a grateful. In the meantime Dolly promises to continue working to make Tennessee crowd. LeBron James has hit. Another milestone last night he became the youngest NBA player to ever scored 35000. Points. He's one of only three players to ever do it this is. Every throw that put him in the same ranks fifth all time greats as Fremont Abdul Jabbar. Karl Malone. It's also named team captain for the NBA all star game and locks. And now to a potential basketball star in the me thirty route seven Kingston was driving when he's funny young boy shooting moves into the trash cans. So amazing came back a little later surprising eight year old Jeremiah and his grandmother Patricia Williams with a basketball move. Jeremiah jumped for joy practiced hard and later scored twelve points. In a basketball game at his local church leading his team to victory goodness inside and Pinkston says he likes random acts of kindness because you never know what people are going through Williams says Jeremiah loves basketball and loves his new who. She (%expletive) stay in an Angel in disguise. And that's evident for this ABC news live update I'm Diana stayed up thanks for joining us and remember ABC news live is here for you all day with the latest news context and analysis. We'll see you right back here at 11 AM eastern with the new update Stacy.

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