ABC News Live Update: Trump threatens to block COVID-19 relief bill

Plus, a major winter storm is on the move as millions are expected to travel for the holidays, and a Virginia neighborhood gives a special thank you to their UPS driver.
24:42 | 12/23/20

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Transcript for ABC News Live Update: Trump threatens to block COVID-19 relief bill
Good morning I'm Diane Messina thanks for streaming with us in today's update president trump is putting that 900 billion dollar relief package in limbo this morning. Send me a suitable bill. Morales the next administration will have to deliver a covered relief package. Hours after congress passed the bill the president called it a disgrace we'll have more on what this means for millions who are waiting for eight. And a major winter storm on the move is millions are expected to travel for the holidays are ABC news team is tracking travel warnings and where that blizzard is now. And an unexpected surprise for this UPS driver from Dwight is Virginia neighborhood lined the streets to say thank you. We start in Washington this morning after months of talks congress finally passed a new 900 billion dollar Covert relief bill this week. Lawmakers from both parties say the bill isn't perfect but it does provide some relief for millions of Americans now the bill as in jeopardy after a late night threat from president trump. White House correspondent Rachel Scott has more. Court. Oh last. I pay my bills. And just before the holidays images like this long lines at food banks from coast to coast. Democrats say they will take trump up on his 2000 dollar check demand. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeting overnight and they are ready to bring this to the floor this week let's do it but Republicans have refused to budge on the price tag of the roughly 900 billion dollar stimulus package and one of the president's closest allies senator Lindsey Graham. Calling the bill in perfect but saying the sooner the bill becomes law. The better president elect Joseph Biden calling it just a down payment how can you assure Americans that. The relief full com and come soon I predict she will get cooperation the public is not gonna stand for. Us not doing. And Rachel joins us live now with more racial many lawmakers have already left talent for Christmas the government shuts down on Monday without a funding bill. And money for unemployment runs out on Saturday so what have now. Eddy at the clock is certainly ticking right now especially. With relief for millions at stake as well as that government shut down so as all of this right now. Is on hold that one question that we are getting is kin this bill. Currently be amended in the surety answer is no it's already been house. In both chambers a got bipartisan support so you're seeing Democrats saying that they will trying to this unanimous vote on the house floor. To pass a bill that has 2000 dollar a stimulus check something that they have been pushing for. For months but Republicans would not budge O'Neal were all price tag of the bill. It comes down so what the president wants to do here the president obviously. Has the power to be till this bill. But it hasn't even landed on his deaths yet till after these build it passed in congress and only takes about several days before actually reaches. The president's staff still he could be till it out right balance in the back to congress they could potentially override that beat so which. It's pretty likely here's that they did have bipartisan support. If it doesn't land on his desk today he does have an option to just sit on the bill which means that. It could just potentially expire the president does not sign it in ten days it would become law but. All the timing here is just. Really thought at this point not only do you have that relief expire in for millions of Americans at the end of the year he also have a new congress coming in and just eleven days. The president has four weeks left in office. So the short answer here is that all of this does is really on limbo at this point and I know that so many Americans so many that we have talked to. Are just holding their breath waiting to see if this is going to come there Diana Rachel was they're warning from the president on this last week during all these negotiations did he tell anyone I won't sign it unless these checks are for 2000 dollars. And this Democrats are really angry this morning the air coming out and saying look we won at this to be 2000 dollar stimulus checks in fact. The house passed the bill that included 2000 dollars. In direct payments to Americans but Republicans. Didn't want to go any higher on the price tag in so. You have the president's secretary of treasury steamy nude scene he was involved in leading negotiations for the White House in. He indicated that no stimulus checks would be out in the mail to Americans as early as next week. The White House also signaled an indicated that the president. Would be signing this bill and so now the president coming forward it's a little. Too little too late at this point trying to say that he once this amounts it increase. When these negotiations were going on for months remember this is the first stimulus bill. That congress has passed in more than six months Diana and separately Rachel president trump issues slate of pardons last night and ruin on that list. And it do we expect to see more. Yeah four weeks left in office president from issuing this slate of party and so it does include. Two former congressman you have Chris Collins in Duncan Hunter on here they were both convicted on corruption charges and forced to resign both supporters. Of the president another ally George pop a topless you may remember him from that Mueller probe. And looking into Russian interference in the 2016 election. He was convicted for lying to the FBI and the president pardoning four Blackwater military contract guards. Who were convicted of killing more than a dozen civilians who were unarmed there in Iraq back in 2007. And one of the witnesses who saw one of those contractors opened fire on women and children killing them Democrats are obviously. The last thing this at this point they say the president is trying to bring down the house of justice on his way out the door but. You know die and even as the president refuses to concede an election that he lots isn't just another sign that he realizes. That his time in his days are numbered. Drain our White House correspondent Rachel Scott thanks Rachel. The banks. And now to the busy holiday travel happening right now millions of Americans have been flying over the past few days the most at any point since the pandemic started. GO beneath says is that Newark Airport in New Jersey with the latest on that. This morning the holiday accidents millions on the move despite warnings from health officials not to travel. TSA screening more than four million people since Friday. More than at any point since the pandemic started nearly 85 million Americans expected to travel between today through January 3. Down 30% from last year but much higher than expected. Especially as the US surpassed. Eighteen million confirmed Kobe case is just this week that Thanksgiving surge upon a surge causing the national seven day average to jumped by 32%. Now experts worry holiday gatherings will cause yet another search we don't want to cancel Christmas. But you have to tone down plans. We're in a precarious situation. There is light at the end of the tunnel with more people traveling overwhelmingly to rural area presumably to seat them rather than big cities for vacation and there's another surprising trend. They're staying there for weeks. If he's weekend to channel this Katrina actually last weekend's and then you see your return is going to be January there aren't a lot of fury and that we had. Reclining anti. This as concerns rise over that new variant of the virus discovered in the UK which experts believe could be more contagious but is not believed to be more deadly so far the CDC not detecting that Varian in the US. And starting tomorrow three airlines will require passengers to test negative before boarding flights from London to New York. But some officials want that to be true across the board with a federal mandate. Diane. Thank you Benitez or transportation correspondent thanks GO. And while millions are flying to their holiday destinations tens of millions more are hidden wrote Stephanie Ramos is on the west side highway here in Manhattan. With tips on how to do so safely good morning step. Diane good morning sir here's some good news triple A says car travel is expected to drop by 25%. Compared to last year. However that's still means 81 million people will be out there on the roads during this holiday season. While the CDC recommends staying home this holiday traveling by car on short trips with members of your own household. Poses the lowest risk. Longer trips by car with a one or more stops along the way represents warmer risk if he missed here. If you travel by car with people who are not in your household. Rest stops present. It enhanced risk because it puts you in contact with other people and the services they may have touched so it's important you don't mind. Tuesday six field way and of course where a mouse now with millions of extra cars out there are here are the times that areas people should. Tried to mobile if your driving in Detroit this morning at 1145. The busiest time of the holiday season San Francisco also sees its most traffic today at 5 PM and peak traffic in Atlanta Boston and Houston will be Saturday afternoon as a basically he's major urban areas will see some delays in the next few days. Diana Knight good to know Stephanie thank you and that holiday travel may be slowed by the winter weather that's sweeping the country right now the upside is. If you're dreaming of a white Chris miss you might get it rob Marciano has at all from Bethlehem Connecticut good morning rob. Hey good morning die and our coast to coast. Christmas week storm as it right at the halfway mark right now across the northern plains where there are blizzard warnings up and it. Give me an idea just how dynamic this system is not only did it snow in Seattle we had thunder snow and steamboat Colorado and also in parts of vice units on these are shots at a little cottonwood canyon up and down the roads there it's Hugh Alltel and snowbird ski resorts all the got a foot have snow lasted 24 hours and there. Hobby see some slow traffic so blowing sideways in Grand Forks, North Dakota that is where the blizzard is happening 4050 mile per hour wind gusts. And it's gonna pile up somewhat albeit drifting mostly. As snow will be accumulating in Minneapolis as well that's where. One who blizzard warnings is at least just west of town all rain no Detroit Chicago's Saint Louis all the way out of the Gulf Coast potentially flooding rains it will be windy across a great place. And those thunderstorms. From New Orleans to Atlanta to the Carolinas could be severe and tornadoes are not out of the question. And in tomorrow night Christmas Eve a tough ride percent of no doubt about that flooding rains and damaging winds potentially. Friendly Christmas morning across some of the big cities in the northeast fifty some power outages here could UA get a Christmas morning. Without power eat that would not be a pleasant way to start the holiday where it's going to be wives where there's a blizzard warning now and then some of the lake effect snow bands on the on the backside of this thing is where you'll cease maybe six to ten inches of snow. Begin to pile up the big stores going to be the Arctic air that is pouring in behind this system wide spread below zero wind chills. Tomorrow morning and first for the upper midwest and and a dives downing even and so Florida where her. They're worried about falling iguanas and parts of this day because temperatures will be at or below freezing in some spots. Teens and single numbers Saturday morning across the northeast so get that heavy winter coat out van. And active in the mood for Chris Francisco's and I look. Out for those falling in line as rob Marciano thank you. And breaking this morning the government announced a new deal with fights are for 100 million more doses. Of its Kobe nineteen vaccine Pfizer says it will deliver all of those extra doses no later than the end of July. So far over four point six million doses of the vaccine have been delivered an over 6141000. Americans. I've been vaccinated meanwhile the US set another record for covad nineteen hospitalizations. Yesterday and things are particularly bad. In the state of California kidney heart Chinese in Orange County with the latest. Or help is on the way. The New York Times reporting Pfizer is brokering a new deal with the government to deliver as many as a 110 million doses of the vaccine between April and June of next year. That's welcome news for the country as president elect Joseph Biden issued this stark warning our darkest days in the battle against Covert. Are ahead of us. Not behind us particularly here in California a state with more than 32000. New infections yesterday alone. And doctors agree it will get worse before it gets better. Surging number sending predictions off the charts California warning more than a 100000 people could be hospitalized within the month. What happened after Thanksgiving is gonna pale in comparison to what happens after Christmas healing comparison. That's what we have to prepare for. So here at UC Irvine medical scanner that means constructing a massive field hospital like something you'd see in a war zone you have to do something dramatic and that's what we did. If you know what's going to get worse we know it's gonna get worse the numbers will go just as officials are begging folks to stay home for the holidays. We will go through this. Each individual decision we make. The likes it overnight this caroling at that disregarding the warnings actor Kirk Cameron hosting the gathering with few masks and no social distancing. And Diane health care workers here at UC Irvine medical center have already started to be vaccinated but just as that relief comes their face with the harsh reality that this is what's needed in this tented hospital space in the parking lot. Can fit up to fifty beds and they tell me they're prepared. To be serving patients here until the end of 20/20 one that's how long they think the additional space could be me it is been a herculean effort to build it out in just nine days. But there will be beds lined up as far as the eye can see down here that they think it could be filling up as soon as the start of the new year. Diane Caylee I know they were turn it but here's hoping they don't need all that space thank you. Let's bring in infectious disease specialist ABC news medical contributor doctor Todd Halloran now for more honest actor Eller and good morning I wanna start with this new strain of clove in nineteen found in the UK we keep hearing. That it's more contagious but what does that mean from a practical sense is it more likely. To pass through masks does a live on surfaces longer instead of six feet of distance do we need twelve feet now. Good morning Andrea so definitely more questions and answers your west they're a couple of things number one masks are going to continue to work like they've worked with other strains the other and our economy isn't the first string we've heard about that has mutated we heard though the European strain that's the strain that has infiltrated most of the United States that actually had a mutation in the spike protein now this one has more. We have to see is really more efficient that hasn't been proving yet the question is. Did you mutation that actually lead to more spread. Epic deal I'll just assume that there's more spread right now in the UK but it's very possible that the US strained right now may be. Spring is officially asked the UK straight in the US we have to learn from this is we need to do more sequence we only sequence zero point 3%. Of the viruses we see UK is 25 times more so for us to understand that and also. Did spiral string is likely already here in the US. Us all right and scientists. Believe the vaccines will still protect against the new strain that's the good news but the vaccines can also be adjusted. If needed Q officer with the processes for that. Right so there couldn't remember the Diane the vaccine induces more broad immunity hokey it's almost like we have an army navy airforce and Marines fighting within our buying our vaccine. Really elicits a response from all of those so. I didn't think it's likely that the best he's going to work against this UK variant does remain to be seen what's going to be tested is the blood. Of patients were received the vaccine and scientists are already looking to see if those elicited that same type of hype tighter antibodies that are protective but like you just. The vaccine is a large step up but then shot in step forward is the Platt. Formed is already based technology. These gene based technology. That produced is exceeded the flexibility. To Alter that Arnie sequence so we can come up with a new vaccine in a short period of time so if we find that this vaccine is less attractive we can check and just that process that's the beauty of this new technology. It's great to know that we don't have to start from square one if that worst case scenario happens now. So far five million vaccine doses have been delivered but only 600000. Roughly have been administered should we be concerned about that case. So of course we need to be concerned I want to give you sort of an analogy it's almost like we're flying a space shuttle. At the same time that we're trying to build. And fix it. So this is a challenging. You know. Operation and I think we have to make the scene investment. That we need in developing the vaccines. As we do in the implementation and if we invest in people. Parts. Technology and trust. Those four things we're gonna get to where we need today. That it is recommended that people receive two doses of the five's Rehman dinner vaccines that an opinion piece in the New York Times says the men Daryn a vaccine is reported to be. About ninety per 5% effective after the first dose so. Is his second dose really necessary right now or should we be giving one goes to twice as many people. So are wanting to be careful here. What you just quoted is based on small numbers and it wasn't the design of the study remember most people. Received two doses so even though we're seeing some numbers that are definitely in trusting observation. We hope. Question we need to give two doses of both of these vaccines OK and remember it's been clearly shown after the second dose is when you get that. Rod and large amount of neutralizing antibody that really prevents the virus from being able to enter the cell he. The problems we have no idea that durability after a single dose so while single doses interest think if we want to. Adopt that needs to be studied in a phase three trial. And after the Anderson to your questions now after getting vaccinated. How long does it take to build up those any bodies and how do do we know how long. They then remain in our system. Right so as her and that you just mentioned there may be protection act. After a single dose after about twelve days or so and that's more nonspecific community from what we called interferon in things called binding antibodies that you do get an immune response but it wasn't until after that second dose or you really got scourge of neutralizing antibodies tools needed the most important. Antibodies that delivered that final not go punch and really prevent the virus from hijacking itself. Period after you get that second dose before you build up. Then the total immunity. That's right there's eggs are appearance adds about two weeks Diana I do want to do. Both did it is so you need get you eat at second dose and after that second doses probably you know a good one or two weeks after we don't know the exact number it was probably a week or two after that second dose of three to four weeks later. After the first dose so really me a couple of months after he received their first dose until he really help that she community. And Ike Pappas crackling underscores a hat that. I think I. Underscored the importance of continuing to Wear those masks in doing the same infection prevention measures. That we've been using before and I want to make a clear in warning. To be Americans that we do not repeat. The scene mistakes we made during Thanksgiving. Which is going to between another search we have to do you really careful I just wanna get that message I can't underscore that enough. We're very dangerous place right now Diane. I got we could see that especially from Caylee is report you could see how the hospitals there in California are preparing for this they are already anticipating. Another surge from Christmas when we're already seeing record high numbers. When it comes to the vaccine now I've got this question a lot on Twitter people are wondering could the vaccine help people who are already sick. Really important in the answer is no. Got scenes are competitive. They are not therapeutic. So you cannot use a vaccine to treat someone in the midst of Kobe nineteen but remember this he's he's recommending that people whoever culvert from quote in nineteen should still be immunized. Named doctor Eller and it's always great talking always great to have you on thank you for your. And few tears then. And a few more things to know before you go California's secretary of state Alex Padilla has been appointed to fill the senate seat held by vice president elect Pamela Harris. FedEx Padilla the first Latino senator in history to represented state. Come bartered. And a mumbled. The Kabuki. And openness. And I paid my debt registered stated he scrambles. Try to provide for us here. In the many many years of normal creating during the statement. I did I try to school or make sure that our democracy is as inclusive and outlook warning has been built. And important perspective. To Washington. Does he Padilla emotional Mary Nelson treated. I am humbled and honored to service California's next US senator thank you Gavin Newsom French trusting me with the role of defending the dream. For the people of California. And basketball is back to new season tipped off last night a little over two months after the last season ended. The lakers returned to the court for their season opener but the biggest moment came before tip off. When they collected their championship rings the two point when he rings paid tribute to the social justice movement with the word unity edged into them. The team we'll wait to unveil their championship banner until fans are allowed back in the Staples Center. And that's for the game on the lakers lost to the clippers went sixteen to 109. And the Virginia neighborhood has come together for a special thank you to their UPS driver residents lined the street in Halsey. And hopefully I should say to cheer hunt for Anthony gas can was served that neighborhood for years. Some families say Gascon is the only face they see during the day and despite his tireless work. And the hard times Rollins. They say that that face always has a smile on it. Gaskin supervisors even surprised him with a gift during the emotional tribute our thanks to Anthony into all of the essential workers. Keeping this country running right now we thank you all. And that does it for this ABC news live update I'm Diane Macedo. Thanks for joining us to 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 today.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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