ABC News Live Update: US death toll from COVID-19 hits grim milestone of 250,000

Plus, NYC schools abruptly closed in-person learning as restrictions increase nationwide and President-elect Biden warns that transition delays will hamper his administration's COVID-19 response.
25:40 | 11/19/20

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Transcript for ABC News Live Update: US death toll from COVID-19 hits grim milestone of 250,000
Good morning I'm Diana say no thanks for streaming with us in today's update over a quarter from million Americans have lost their lives. Tobin nineteen and that's case to search across the country New York City the nation's largest school district is abruptly shutting down again. But there is some encouraging news as a third vaccine makes its way into the final trial phase. President elect Joseph Biden is now warning his administration could be dangerously delayed on rolling out a vaccine if they don't get cooperation and information from the top administration. Too much is made available so loaded in the economy. By three extra words. And here's something you can look forward to the big news out of Hollywood about the highly anticipated Wonder Woman stapled. Why you won't have to go part to see it. We begin with that brand new milestone 250. 1548. People. Have now died from co lead nineteen in the US yesterday alone US recorded 18169. Debts from coping. The highest one day tolls since may. The surge has forced new York city schools to close sending students back to online learning but parents and even public health experts are questioning that move pointing out that schools have not been likely hot spots for transmission. With Johnson has the latest. The Big Apple hitting its self imposed threshold of a 3% positive but he rate on a seven day average. The school closures impacting 300000. Students infuriating some parents. Restaurants continue to be open at full capacity but we have complete 2% has activity in our schools. In the city man's history percent. But it turns out our school are the safest place to be in our city right now. This city now joining other major districts like Los Angeles Chicago and San Francisco. That have been fully remote this entire school year some schools in Kentucky and Minnesota going virtual as well. This as the nation marks that painful milestone a quarter of a million Americans dead from cope in nineteen just. In Idaho hospitalizations. Have increased by 84%. In just the last month health care workers emotionally and physically exhausting. I feel like I'm in that fighter flight mode having. My patient call their family member before. We and to be for the last time. For the last of the DM NASA and shouldn't. Hand in the silence that follows after is this. It's really heard. Wisconsin reporting a record daily high over 8000 new cases. Re issuing a state of emergency extending its mask mandate until January 20/20 one. Masks also now required in Kansas and in Arizona the governor mandating masks in schools getting back to normal. Is an in the cards right now. With exactly one week until Thanksgiving. Officials are sounding the alarm about family gatherings acting as super spreader advance concern mounting over college students bring in the virus home. I got tested and I was waiting for results I was like I'm going to be negative. An hour and a half later started feeling symptoms. Claire Silverstein and Sydney Fogelman from Syracuse have both been diagnosed with Colby nineteenth but are waiting out there isolation. Before heading home. I've got a test writing a hole that was naked and I would wanted to take that extra precaution read a couple of days and then do another lengthy body deadbeat is adds that big positive. And some states are adding tough new restrictions ahead of Thanksgiving organs governor ordering a two week freeze. Reducing social gatherings in limiting places like restaurants to take out only. And Michigan starting a three week pause on school and business operations all an effort to slow the spread Diane. Time we Johnson for a so important thank you and Brooklyn Borough president Eric Adams joins me now for more on this thanks so much for being here I wanna start. By getting your take on this closing its schools do you think it's a right move to send students back to online learning. And I know I do not and believe it when you look at the numbers. Or feel images of these 5000. Shares. Students I'm sure you were impacted. I think it's we have gotten in bright anywhere we had a bright schools and I think it's a state police are students. And we need to continue their learning and I believe we need to keep schools open at this time. How many critics are pointing to other countries which have prioritize restrictions on James bars and restaurants while keeping schools. Oh and what's your take on trying to balance those things in New York City and in the US and general. So important and and you write this is a wrong message when we do not prioritize education about children because as we buy local in nineteen in the currency which cannot destroy. A mall terms straight while the educational system and we did a terrible job trail over the last school year we did not. Icy look at its current school year so you say you give people in bars and other locales we hold those who got there has also we're our priorities are discharge. And some sheriffs are calling governor Cuomo's restrictions limiting private gatherings to ten people unconstitutional. Is a former police officer what do you make of that is it's enforceable. And I think Democrats would be legal minds are going to have to figure out of course is not enforce oops addiction that we believe you can hand down the mandate of stated only ten people at a Thanksgiving dinner you don't have the mentality carried out now. This period of what Governor Cuomo was attempting to put out is that that's sort of self regulate how ourselves I leaned back in those large family yeah embark that X number and it gives every day in New York is really Americans. And an. Idea all of the less you know just really decrease in number I am not want to have been large gathering at my home. I believe that this is a good Charen voice is state. That student is to resume say hello to each other a mistake and would just immediate console him he's only been how. And what restrictions do you think should be placed on private gatherings would you keep things the way they are. I would just to the advisory regarding them when it comes down to what takes place on in the home of America's I don't believe you can do much better our homes our castles and that's something they're constitutionally. As Americans we believe it would ship the right to dictate what takes place sort of us who we can Jewish just give some real strong guidelines. And hold that everyone. Tricks aren't their personal responsibility. Of trying to stem the tide of desire is we don't want to cycle. Of Thanksgiving. Day and give did not thanks Greg didn't disappointed. That we do not -- necessary or should you should not have the large gatherings. That she did but that's something we can only advise America is in New York not to do. We're not going to have the base given police indoors and demand. Low points are certainly members leave the house. And yesterday you announced her candidacy to succeed bill the Lazio as mayor of New York City what would you do differently. To tackle the pandemic. Well I think we are right now in what we would do just recognizable president. I would just community care and better I think we made a mistake nationally. As well listen how will cities. Every new York and every American. Is not an English speaker and it's unfortunate. Because some it is communicated in our English speaking voice we believe their goals lawyer and her English as a second language goals who received information and a two way understood what we Hussein. We have a large Chinese collision ring Yiddish. Eastern population. Do and we were not on the ground. I've been Rio credible messages. Communicated repeated fashion in Eagles he PE usual local areas. In response teams. To really respond on the ground and not figured we'd really did not communicated to many languages emit these people used to our. Or retrain and understand information. I Brooklyn Borough president Eric Adams we appreciate your time today's or thank you. You're urged richer and timber. Shame to you sir. And more than 250000. Americans have lost their lives to cope in nineteen now experts are predicting that number could surpass 300000 by the end of this year. Of the virus hasn't hit all parts of the country equally she doesn't Sami has more on the ABC news investigation exploring some of the hardest hit areas. There's a new sign post this morning on a very tragic road more than a quarter million people in this country have died from Covert nineteenth ABC news has joined our ABC owned stations across the country. And taken a close look at the data underlining the 100 counties in the US. With the highest rate of death many of them are rural and pork. The hardest hit. Gold county Kansas and right behind him Gerald county South Dakota. Counties in Virginia Montana north and South Dakota and Georgia are at the top of the list more than once. And rural Georgia with toss your Taylor lost her aunt. Her aunt's husband and her mother to cope at nineteen she believes that if they lived in a big city with access to better health care. They might still be alive. Today does it feel like. The rest of the country forgets. About rural areas absolutely. Yes let's cannot win downing Beers. We op them out to a not talked about a lack what happens. If this county seized march again. I think we made it may see a lot of fatalities. His this going to be. Very very difficult. And especially the surrounding hospitals already overworked. There's something that we kept hearing over and over again for people who live in some of these hardest hit areas. That they often have more funeral homes. Then they have hospitals. Diane turns TiVo's and sunny forests from and alana sat back there Steve. And you can see Morrissey is reporting in a quarter million Americans lost tonight on ABC news live prime and 7 PM on Nightline. The good news is that help is on the way Oxford University announced some promising news from its phase two vaccine trial saying the vaccine is of active she. In all age groups and causes you side effects but it's still has to go to a longer testing. In phase three ABC news' chief national affairs correspondent Tommy honest. Has the latest on the race for a vaccine. Diane good morning major back C news coming out of Oxford AstraZeneca this morning good news conference wrapped up a short time ago when it reaches the main headline. They're back seen they're seen has a robust immune response. In healthy adults aged 506069. And people over seventy scene it's based U results show the vaccine is. As effective for the older demographic that is as it is for the younger demographic. They're now in phase three they hope to have results for that critical phase around Christmas time. This of course all of the molester news out of supplies are where we are this morning that there vaccine is 95%. Effective across race ethnicity and age. Also maternal which is not far from here in Cambridge mass. They're back seat about 94%. Effective. All really great news we're moving in the right direction now Pfizer says they will be applied for that emergency authorization at any moment it could be tomorrow. And basically after that it'll be two to four weeks before some Americans could get supplies are vaccine if it is approved. Now the big question how are you distribute this well. You have to keep the flies are vaccine at minus 94 agreed. We are at one of the places where their affiliate vaccine they're actually building it right now manufacturing this as were were broadcasting. They have these fees are forms where they can. Hold the preserve the vaccine but that it's a little difficult negative 94 degrees when you try to transport this right. So the general in charge of operation won't speed he says not to worry they're gonna make sure these these reforms are sent to the locations they're using dry ice to ship the vaccine. Basically they're saying. That once the vaccine is approved they feel confident they're going to be able to ship this to any American who needs it obviously is that ramps up surgery to ramp up as well. Reporting from just outside of Boston an Andover Massachusetts Tom dumbest guy back to you. Tom thank you. And president trump is breaking his recent silence on the pandemic tweeting this morning that vaccines are coming tracks. The president also writes the Kobe drugs now available to make people better are amazing but seldom talked about by the media. Meanwhile president elect Biden met with front line health care workers and a virtual roundtable yesterday. Asking about their personal protective equipment supplies and saying the delay in a formal transition could impair the roll out. Of a new vaccine. ABC's Mary Bruce has more. This morning with effective vaccines on the horizon Joseph Biden says the only thing standing in the way of a speedy rollout is president trump there's a whole lot of things that they're just we just don't have available to us. Put too much is made available soon we're going to be behind. By. Weeks or months during a virtual roundtable with Frontline workers the president elect warning if the trump administration doesn't give his team access to government resource is soon there's even more at stake in immunization like getting badly needed protective equipment to hospitals we've been unable to get access. To the kinds of things we need to know about. The depth of the stockpiles Renault there's not much at all. Trump hasn't said a word publicly about the alarming surge until big cases instead the president is fixated on the election refusing to accept that he's lost he's launching long shot attempts to overturn the results. In Wisconsin a state where Biden is ahead by over 20000 votes. The truck team is now asking for a recount in two counties. A move unlikely to change the outcome in the state and in Georgia staffers worked right up to the midnight deadline to finish read tallying over five million votes. The results are expected to be announced later today and expected to show Biden still in the lead to officials there are urging Americans to trust the system. You have faith in the outcome of these elections whether they win or whether they lose as that's the bedrock of having had to transfer power. But in Michigan outrage after Republicans initially refused to certify the outcome of the election in the State's largest county. Including the majority black city of Detroit. Voters sounding off during a public forum. You talked about not certifying Detroit. You know it will podium does anybody want it I know you've always 95%. White. Her variances in Detroit 20%. We understand this when you try to sleep tonight so all isn't. Besides history won't be hundreds your cousins loved and. After the outcry the Republicans backtracked but now they're flipping again attempting to revoke their sign off claiming they were enticed into giving it. Now Biden is trying to tune out a lot of this noise and focus on the pandemic today he and vice president elect Kabul Harris will hold a virtual meeting with a bipartisan group of governors from across the country that to come up with a strategy going forward Biden has said. That he will push governors to adopt stricter measures light mask mandates but of course that strategy only works if the governor's. Are willing to follow his lead. Diane so much back and forth Mary Bruce in Washington thank you. And for more on this latest vaccine development and the latest on Kobe nineteen news I'm joined now by infectious disease specialist doctor Todd Ballard doctor Allard. Good morning thanks for being on again. I want to start with that we and from the president talking about therapeutics we have talked about therapeutics many times that or on the show but just give us a quick update on what the latest is and what care. Does the general public debt compared to the kind of kid that the president received when he had opened. Right well on the president's correct our therapeutics are better than they were. In the spring we have now the anti viral that we can use like production viewers bring down imam virus or body we have decks out his own which is the first and an older medications so part that is actually shown a survival benefit decrease in mortality HTT helps. Com you immune system to prevent our bodies from developing their immune storm so there's no question that with that and with our general intensive care unit here and there were getting these patients we know what you do we know how to manage the ventilator breathing machines weren't much better place than we weren't because of the overall mortality is going in the right direction. Aren't so now they're also two vaccines on the way to potential approval by the FDA in at third showing real promise what do you think of this news from Oxford. This is very good news you. You don't Diane one of the keys and I mention this team before she is debt that scientists have found the right target debts by pro team making sure that our body develops antibodies against approaching so the virus can enter the cell were. These vaccines prevent. The virus from hijacking. The inside of ourselves and that's good news so. Even though we don't have effectiveness data from AstraZeneca yet and Oxford team that's the phase three trial since they are immune. Results are very promising and dad it looks like older patients seventy and older have a similar immune response to younger patients is extremely encouraging news for instance the flu shot the immune response in. Older patient is not as good as it is in younger patients so each year that the phase two results are. Are encouraging. Gives you the sense that we're gonna hear some promising results in near phase three efficacy trials. We'll take as many of those promising resulting good news as we can get Dr. Haller and were also now. One week away from Thanksgiving we heard some new warnings lately telling college students either not to go home. Or not to come back to school if they do can you all could sue the concerns there. Sure as soon die and the key here is is mobility the move we move away from our homes but from there we go. And in combat the more likely we are just spread it Kobe nineteen that's just a character studies that are proven now so. What we're hearing is got the worst case scenario is for students who leave their campus come back to their homes should and then I think she and how to act. Into the college campuses that's really the worst case in the Ers want your humor and remember her well there on vote twenty million. Students in the United States there have been a little over 250000. Colvin nineteen infections among and that's the little 1%. Numbers are so the college campuses and students overall have done a really good job in keeping these numbers slow but still as you move back into the home you're going to start exposing people or more vulnerable and that's a problem so better to either stay on can't. Us or you're going to come home best to stay at home and not go Barack. For the Christmas or. And what our options if we want to celebrate with people outside our household. OK so I don't recommend that right now if you're going to do I think the key is still she goes number's small you liked ideally show break those tables and not just one big table with everyone around she distances between the families opened those windows like you've reminded me several times changing the ventilation is critical to what air circulating so the viruses and just hanging about structure and and I'm and then again really think twice if you're going to bring the vulnerable person elderly chronic medical conditions in your home she and then testing I think is a minimum should everyone should be tested before bringing. Outside the only member isn't your home. And then I want to ask you one more question this is based on a two different conversations I've had with people that I know one sadly the whole family got rid and the young daughter is now hospitalized but she was surprised that when they initially went to the doctor. They were just given as he packed and sent home and another friend who now also has it. The doctor recognized for his cops right away that it was Kobe then wouldn't even touch him no treatment no therapeutics no nothing so. If you're not in one of those great cases that requires being in the icu what are reasonable expectations for medical professionals when it comes your care and your thirteen X. You're breaking up a good point I told you the first question I said we were much better with her pure shooters but that's really focused on indications not a locations in the ambulatory settings we really like for instance we don't have that he ambled flu like we have for influenza we need to. Anti viral or some type of medication can really help all patients now just recently we heard debt Eli Lilly I had an emergency use authorization for their monoclonal antibody no doubt. All been very helpful for high risk people in the outpatient settings we're trying to figure out now how to deliver. Those antibodies to. Risk. Patients so that remains species so we're we're going in the right direction even in the outpatient settings but it's true most allocations were called in nineteen Orwell we don't give them any specific anti Coca terrorist. All right just want people understand what's expect when they go to the doctor. It's such a difficult time for anybody going to this obviously in the more information we can give them. I think the better doctor Todd Eller and that's why we love having you won a did you want to add some day. I want to say one more take their date please do not celebrate Thanksgiving. As business as usual OK she if you are. Then. Some of the then you have to look long and harder as some of those family members are on the table because some of them will not be around for Christmas. Right it's a grim prediction but an important one doctor Alan we appreciate your time is always thank you. And a few more things you know before you go Warner Bros. has announced that Wonder Woman 1984. Is our twice when he Christmas gift. The highly anticipated sequel is being released in theaters on December 16 and then on HBO Max on Christmas Day. This is the biggest blockbuster to launch a simultaneous release which could pave the way for more follow. Wonder Woman herself doubt that got treated overnight we never thought we'd have to hold onto the release for such a long time but couldn rocked all of our worlds we feel the movie. Has never been so relevant and we hope it will bring some joy hope and love your hearts. At least fourteen wildfires are burning this morning in the west. The Mountain View fire in California has scorched more than 20000 acres and left at least one person dead. That buyers only 20% contained meanwhile the pint heavy fire has burned hundreds of acres in Nevada. Now fire danger and gusty winds are moving into the plains the midwest and the Great Lakes with eleven states under red flag warning and wind advisory. And Rockefeller Christmas tree is rounding up the year in classics when he when he fashion this year's tree has gotten a lot of ridicule. On social media as some saying that the trees all day many are prompting people to call it. Peak twenty funny. But Big Three is now clapping back tweeting from the Rockefeller Center account what. You must look great right after a shooting drive not just wait until I get highlights. See you on December 2. Under the tree does have at least one fan in its current stage this tiny little how long made itself right at home inside its branches. The towel traveled nearly 200 miles to New York City. It has since been rescued from the tree and is currently recovering from how to wildlife rehabilitation facility. And that does it for this ABC news live update I'm Diane Macedo thanks for joining us. And remember ABC news live as your bore you all day with the latest news context and analysis. We'll see you back here at 11 AM eastern. With your latest update there.

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

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