National Headlines


(NEW YORK) -- A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected more than 97.5 million people worldwide and killed over 2 million of them, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Here's how the news is developing Friday. All times Eastern:

Jan 23, 7:47 pm
Weekly average cases in US back to 'pre-Thanksgiving levels'

New COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are seeing a "very encouraging" drop, according to The COVID Tracking Project.

The number of weekly cases decreased 21% as of Saturday, the tracker said. There were "more modest but very welcome" drops in COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations as well.

The weekly view today shows cases down 21%, with more modest but very welcome drops in hospitalizations and deaths. The 7-day average for cases has returned to pre-Thanksgiving levels. Tests are slightly down, possibly because most of the backlogs have now been resolved.

— The COVID Tracking Project (@COVID19Tracking) January 24, 2021

The seven-day average for cases is back to "pre-Thanksgiving levels," though the group noted there are still nearly three times as many new cases daily compared to the summer peak.

Jan 23, 5:55 pm
LA County crosses 15,000 deaths

Los Angeles County has crossed 15,000 deaths, with about one-third of those deaths happening in 2021.

Health officials reported 269 deaths in the county on Saturday. LA remains the hardest-hit county in the United States. LA County has more than twice as many cases (1,064,887) as the second-highest in the nation (Arizona's Maricopa County; 444,431, according to Johns Hopkins University).

The county said 5,106 people have died since Dec. 30.

There was a little bit of good news in LA, however, as the county is following national trends of dropping hospitalizations. The number of people in hospitals with COVID-19 dropped under 7,000 for the first time since Dec. 29, according to the health department.

"Many people continue to spread this virus and, tragically, now more than 15,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Los Angeles County," Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the county's director of public health, said in a statement. "While we are seeing some positive data in daily new cases and hospitalizations, we are far from out of the woods. It is critically important we slow COVID-19 spread to decompress the strain on our healthcare system and save lives."

ABC News' Matthew Fuhrman contributed to this report.

Jan 23, 1:00 pm
New deaths, cases on decline

Week-to-week comparisons show new deaths and new cases are on the decline nationwide, according to an internal Department of Health and Human Services memo obtained by ABC News.

Thirty-one states and territories are in a downward trajectory of new cases, according to the memo. Twenty states and territories are in an upward trajectory of new cases while five jurisdictions are at a plateau.

The U.S. saw 1,318,915 new cases from Jan. 16 to Jan. 22 -- a 20.3% decrease from the previous week.

There were 21,442 deaths reported from Jan. 16 to Jan. 22, which was a 7.7% decrease from the week before.

The national test-positivity rate also dropped, falling from 11.9% to 10.4% in week-to-week comparisons, the memo said.

ABC News’ Josh Margolin contributed to this report.

Jan 23, 12:15 pm
Indoor dining returns to Chicago

Indoor dining resumed in Chicago on Saturday as the city moved to “Tier 1” of reopening “due to recent progress in the fight against COVID-19,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

Indoor dining is limited to 25 people or 25% capacity with tables six feet apart.

All bars and restaurants must close at 11 p.m.

"We have long pushed for the careful resumption of limited indoor dining, and I am thrilled that we have made enough progress … to reopen our businesses and bring workers back," Lightfoot said in a statement, according to ABC Chicago station WLS.

Jan 23, 10:40 am
North Carolina identifies its 1st case of UK variant

North Carolina has identified its first case of the coronavirus’ United Kingdom variant, state health officials said.

The variant was confirmed in an adult in Mecklenburg County.

The U.S. has 195 confirmed cases of the variant across 21 states, according to North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services.

ABC News’ Josh Hoyos contributed to this report.

Jan 22, 8:21 pm
Cases falling week-over-week in most states: COVID Tracking Project

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are going down across the country.

In 44 states, the seven-day average of new cases has dropped over 10% since last week, The COVID Tracking Project reported Thursday. Daily cases are rising in only one state -- Virginia.

In 24 states, the number of current hospitalizations decreased by more than 10% from a week ago, it found. Everywhere else in the nation, hospitalizations are relatively flat.

Jan 22, 6:50 pm
United CEO wants to make vaccines mandatory for employees

United Airlines' top executive said he would like the airline to require COVID-19 vaccination for employees.

"I think the right thing to do is for United Airlines, and for other companies, to require the vaccines," CEO Scott Kirby said during an employee town hall Thursday. "That said, we have to have the logistic challenges worked out … and we need some others to show leadership, particularly in the health care industry."

Kirby told employees that if other companies mandate vaccines, "You should probably expect United to be amongst the first wave of companies that do it as well."

For now, United is urging employees to get the vaccine as soon as possible, according to an internal memo obtained by ABC News.

On an earnings call yesterday, an executive said the company has been working with local governments "to move our employees up in prioritization of essential workers for vaccination, both for their safety and the safety of our customers."

-ABC News' Gio Benitez

Jan 22, 2:49 pm
New Jersey confirms 1st cases of UK variant

Two people -- a man and a child -- were identified as the first cases of the United Kingdom variant in New Jersey, officials said.
The Ocean County man, who is in his 60s, had no travel history or clear exposures to others who were ill, said the state’s Health Commissioner, Judy Persichilli.
He developed symptoms on Dec. 29 and was tested one week later. His “symptoms have since resolved and he was never hospitalized,” Persichilli said.

The child, who had traveled to northern New Jersey, was tested on Jan. 11 in New York City and is asymptomatic, she said.

ABC News’ Aaron Katersky contributed to this report.

Jan 22, 2:30 pm
California reports highest daily death toll

California reported its highest daily death toll since the start of the pandemic with another 764 lives lost.

The state reported 23,024 new cases on Friday.

Jan 22, 2:01 pm
Severe allergic reactions rare but possible with Moderna vaccine

A CDC report released Friday indicates that the risk of severe allergic reactions with Moderna's vaccine is low. Severe, life threatening allergic reactions were seen in 2.5 cases per million people receiving the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the report said.

Of the 4,041,396 first doses given as of Jan. 10, there were 1,266 (0.03%) reports of "adverse events," the report said. Among those, 108 "adverse events" were considered as possible cases of severe allergic reaction, including anaphylaxis. Ten cases were determined to be anaphylaxis (a rate of 2.5 anaphylaxis cases per 1 million doses) including nine people with a documented history of allergies or allergic reactions, the report said.

Jan 22, 1:43 pm
UK variant may be associated with higher mortality, Boris Johnson says

More people are testing positive for the United Kingdom’s variant of the coronavirus, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Friday “there is some evidence that the new variant may be associated with a higher degree of mortality.”

U.K. Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty stressed that the data is uncertain and there is a chance the new variant is increasing infections and mortality.

The U.K. has seen record daily death tolls several times this week.

There were 1,401 deaths in the last 24 hours.

Jan 22, 1:00 pm
New York running out of vaccines today but more on the way: Cuomo

New York state has used 97% of its allocated vaccine doses so far (for weeks 1 through 5) and will run out of doses by the end of the day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday.

Week 6 doses are currently being delivered, the governor said.

New York’s positivity rate has fallen to 5.65%, Cuomo said. Hospitalizations are also on the decline.

Jan 22, 10:32 am
'Patient No. 1' in US is now 'back to his normal life'

On Jan. 20, 2020, the first COVID-19 patient in the United States, known as "patient No. 1," was brought to a Washington state hospital.

Dr. George Diaz, the head of infectious diseases at Providence Regional Medical Center in Seattle, treated that patient. Diaz would later learn how to isolate COVID-19 patients properly, how to protect hospital staff and how to treat the illness.

"We used Remdesivir, which was a new anti-viral at the time. He was the first patient to receive this drug in the world, and he had a good response to treatment," Diaz told ABC's Nightline.

"Patient No. 1" was treated for five days before being released from the hospital, Diaz said. One year later, he is "doing great," Diaz said.

"He's fully recovered and back to his normal life," Diaz said. "Many people survive the illness but have lots of medical problems afterwards. Fortunately, Patient One recovered well."

Jan 22, 10:10 am
France to require negative COVID-19 test for all arrivals by boat or plane

French President Emmanuel Macron announced that all travelers arriving by boat or plane will have to test negative for COVID-19 before entering the country.

The new measure, which goes into effect Sunday, includes visitors from within the European Union as well as those outside the regional bloc. They must take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test up to three days before departure and provide evidence of a negative result before they travel, according to a statement from Macron's office released late Thursday.

People traveling for essential reasons, such as cross-border or ground transportation workers, will be exempt from the requirement. People arriving from other EU member states by train or car will also be exempt.

France has the sixth-highest tally of diagnosed COVID-19 cases in the world, after the United States, India, Brazil, Russia and the United Kingdom, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The European nation of 67 million people confirmed another 22,848 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, along with an additional 358 fatalities from the disease. That brings the cumulative totals to 2,987,965 cases and 71,998 deaths, according to the latest data from France's public health agency.

Jan 22, 9:03 am
Fauci says lack of truthfulness from Trump administration 'very likely' cost American lives

When asked during an interview Friday on CNN's New Day about whether the Trump administration's lack of truthfulness in some cases regarding the coronavirus pandemic had cost American lives, Dr. Anthony Fauci said "it very likely did."

"I don't want that, John, to be a soundbite, but I think if you just look at that you can see that when when you're starting to go down paths that are not based on any science at all," Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN's John Berman. "Particularly when you're in the situation of almost being in a crisis with the number of cases and hospitalizations and deaths that we have -- when you start talking about things that make no sense medically and no sense scientifically, that clearly is not helpful."

Fauci, who was a member of former President Donald Trump's coronavirus task force, had disagreed with Trump on how to approach the pandemic. At one point, Trump suggested he was considering firing Fauci.

"There's no secret, we've had a lot of divisiveness," Fauci, who is now the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, told CNN. "We've had facts that were very, very clear that were questioned. People were not trusting what health officials were saying."

Jan 22, 9:00 am
NFL invites vaccinated health care workers to Super Bowl

The National Football League announced Friday that it's inviting 7,500 vaccinated health care workers to attend the Feb. 7 Super Bowl in Florida “to thank and honor them for their continued extraordinary service during the pandemic.”

Jan 22, 6:12 am
Reports that Japan is looking to cancel Tokyo Olympics are 'categorically untrue,' government says

Reports that the Japanese government has privately concluded that the upcoming Tokyo Olympics will have to be canceled are "categorically untrue," according to Japan's Cabinet Secretariat of the Headquarters for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"The renewed schedules and venues for the Tokyo 2020 Games, starting with the Opening Ceremony on July 23 this year, were determined at the IOC Session in July last year. All parties involved are working together to prepare for the successful Games this summer," the cabinet secretariat said in a statement Friday. "We will implement all possible countermeasures against COVID-19 and continue to work closely with the IOC, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in our preparations for holding a safe and secure Games this summer."

The statement follows a report published Thursday evening by British newspaper The Times, which cited "a senior member of the ruling coalition" who said there is agreement that the Games are doomed and the focus now is on securing the event for the Japanese capital in the next available year, 2032.

The 2020 Summer Olympics were supposed to kick off in Tokyo last year on July 24. But in late March, amid mounting calls to delay or cancel the upcoming Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Japan's prime minister announced that the event would be held a year later due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Games are now scheduled to open in Tokyo this summer on July 23, but doubt has surfaced as Japan -- and much of the world -- grapples with a resurgence of COVID-19 infections.

Jan 22, 5:21 am
US reports over 188,000 new cases

There were 188,952 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the United States on Thursday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

Thursday's case count is lower than the country's all-time high of 298,031 new cases, which were confirmed on Jan. 2, Johns Hopkins data shows.

An additional 3,955 fatalities from COVID-19 were registered nationwide on Thursday, down from a peak of 4,462 new deaths on Jan. 12, according to Johns Hopkins data.

COVID-19 data may be skewed due to possible lags in reporting over the holiday weekend and earlier holidays.

A total of 24,631,890 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 410,349 have died, according to Johns Hopkins data. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.

Much of the country was under lockdown by the end of March as the first wave of the pandemic hit. By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country's cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up over the summer.

The numbers lingered around 40,000 to 50,000 from mid-August through early October before surging again to record levels, crossing 100,000 for the first time on Nov. 4, then reaching 200,000 on Nov. 27 before nearing 300,000 on Jan. 2.

Jan 22, 4:26 am
'There is no plan B' for Tokyo Olympics, IOC chief says

Despite rising COVID-19 infections in Japan, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said Thursday that there is "no reason whatsoever" to believe the Olympic Games in Tokyo will not open on July 23 as planned.

"This is why there is no plan B and this is why we are fully committed to make these games safe and successful," Bach told Japanese news agency Kyodo in an interview Thursday.

However, Bach admitted he could not guarantee that the stands would be full or rule out the possibility that the Games would be held without spectators, according to Kyodo.

The 2020 Summer Olympics were supposed to kick off in Tokyo last year on July 24. But in late March, amid mounting calls to delay or cancel the upcoming Games, the International Olympic Committee and Japan's prime minister announced that the event would be held a year later due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, Japan is facing a resurgence of COVID-19. The country of 126 million people reported the highest number of new cases in the Western Pacific region last week. The infection rate -- currently at 32.8 cases per 100,000 people -- increased by 4% over the previous week, according to the World Health Organization's latest COVID-19 weekly epidemiological update.

The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare confirmed 5,662 new cases of COVID-19 as well as an additional 87 fatalities from the disease on Thursday, bringing the cumulative totals to 348,646 cases and 4,829 deaths.

Japanase Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has declared a state of emergency in Tokyo and 10 other prefectures due to climbing case counts and growing death tolls.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Rodin Eckeroth/Getty ImagesBy EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Tributes are pouring in for iconic TV host Larry King, who died Saturday morning at age 87.

Former President Bill Clinton tweeted, "I enjoyed my 20 interviews with Larry King over the years. He had a great sense of humor and a genuine interest in people. He gave a direct line to the American people and worked hard to get the truth for them, with questions that were direct but fair. Farewell, my friend."


I enjoyed my 20 interviews with Larry King over the years. He had a great sense of humor and a genuine interest in people. He gave a direct line to the American people and worked hard to get the truth for them, with questions that were direct but fair. Farewell, my friend.

— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) January 23, 2021

Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, tweeted, "I mourn the passing of Larry King whom I have known for nearly 40 years. He was a great interviewer - sensitivity, humorous and witty. And he actually let you talk! An all around mensch. Millions around the world shall miss him, including myself."

CNN founder Ted Turner said in a statement, "Larry was one of my closest and dearest friends and, in my opinion, the world’s greatest broadcast journalist of all time. If anyone asked me what are my greatest career achievements in life; one is the creation of CNN, and the other is hiring Larry King. Like so many who worked with and knew Larry, he was a consummate professional, an amazing mentor to many and a good friend to all. The world has lost a true legend."

CNN President Jeff Zucker said in a statement, "We mourn the passing of our colleague Larry King. The scrappy young man from Brooklyn had a history-making career spanning radio and television. His curiosity about the world propelled his award-winning career in broadcasting, but it was his generosity of spirit that drew the world to him."

"We are so proud of the 25 years he spent with CNN, where his newsmaker interviews truly put the network on the international stage," Zucker said. "From our CNN family to Larry’s, we send our thoughts and prayers, and a promise to carry on his curiosity for the world in our work."

Here are more tributes to King:



I am saddened by the news of Larry King’s passing. He was a unique & legendary interviewer with a talent for putting his guests at ease while getting answers to the most important questions of interest to the millions who tuned in each night. He will be greatly missed.

— Al Gore (@algore) January 23, 2021




Larry King was a Brooklyn boy who become a newsman who interviewed the newsmakers. He conducted over 50,000 interviews that informed Americans in a clear and plain way.

New York sends condolences to his family and many friends.

— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) January 23, 2021



I’ve known Larry King since I arrived in LA 42 years ago. Larry King Live changed CNN in the 80s blending entertainment with news & I loved being on the show.
Larry was one of the best interviewers on TV. Always well prepared, asked intelligent questions, & always made the

— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 23, 2021



My friend Larry King has died.

It is literally true that thousands of us can make that sad statement this morning. While he was easily caricatured, I’ve never known anybody who made a bigger deal out of the slightest kindness afforded him. #RIPLarryKing

1) 25 years ago...

— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) January 23, 2021



Larry King was a friend through thick and thin. A masterful interviewer and storyteller. He helped put CNN on the map by making news through the art of dialogue.. May he Rest In Peace.

— Dan Rather (@DanRather) January 23, 2021



Just heard the awful news about Larry King. He taught me so much. He was a true mensch. He probably even taught me that word.
So long pal, thanks for all the laughs. Say hi to Rickles. #RIPLarryKing

— Craig Ferguson (@CraigyFerg) January 23, 2021



Larry King was a legendary radio and tv pioneer. I always loved doing his tv shows and occasionally he would ask me to guest host while he was on vacation. One with Jack Hanna and animals from the Columbus Zoo remains a favorite. Larry will be missed but he left fond memories.

— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) January 23, 2021



Thanks for the countless interviews and insights, Larry King. You understood human triumph and frailty equally well, and that is no easy feat. There was no one else like you, and you shall be missed. Rest with the heavens now.

— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) January 23, 2021



The Los Angeles Dodgers are saddened by the passing of Larry King and offer their deepest condolences to his family and friends.

— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) January 23, 2021



Oh no!!! RIP Larry King...what a Titan you were! One of our true icons. You are no longer in pain. Rest well

— Viola Davis (@violadavis) January 23, 2021



RIP Larry King!!!! I loved the easy breezy format of his CNN show, and his amazing voice.

— Andy Cohen (@Andy) January 23, 2021



I’ve had the honor of being interviewed by Larry King multiple times in my life. It was always a joy and a pleasure. He truly was the King of Talk. On a personal level, I’ll miss him. Professionally, we’ll all miss him. Rest In Peace, my friend.

— Jesse Ventura (@GovJVentura) January 23, 2021


Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(NEW YORK) -- Three families mourning the loss of their matriarchs are questioning why more wasn't done to protect the residents of their senior housing complex after a man was arrested for their murders this week.

Kevin Gavin, 66, was charged Friday with three counts of second-degree murder for the killings, which spanned from 2015 to last week and occurred in the victims' apartments, authorities said.

Gavin was identified as a suspect during the investigation of the second homicide, but it wasn't until the murder on Jan. 15 that investigators said they were able to connect him to all three, police said.

The suspect would run errands for some of the elderly tenants who lived in the building, run by New York City's public housing authority, NYCHA, police said.

"He had a relationship with our victims," NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison said during a media briefing Thursday.

Investigators believe the killings began as arguments about money. Gavin allegedly confessed to all three murders, prosecutors said in court Friday.

The first victim, Myrtle McKinney, 82, was found dead inside her apartment at the Woodson Houses on Nov. 9, 2015, by her home health aide. At first, it was thought she died of natural causes, but a medical examiner discovered a stab wound on her neck, authorities said. The homicide case remained open with few leads, Harrison said. In court documents, prosecutors said that Gavin told them he stabbed McKinney with a steak knife.

The second victim, Jacolia James, 83, was also found dead inside her apartment. Her grandson found her lying face down on April 30, 2019. She had suspicious injuries to her face and neck, and her official cause of death was strangulation. Gavin allegedly told prosecutors he choked her and "stomped on her neck three times."

Based on forensic evidence, Gavin became a suspect in James' murder and, by connection, McKinney's, but there wasn't enough evidence to arrest him at the time, police said. Last year, Gavin moved into his late brother's apartment in the building after he died.

The most recent homicide victim was killed nine months later. On Jan. 15, Juanita Caballero, 78, was found dead on the floor of her apartment with a telephone cord wrapped around her neck, authorities said. Her cause of death was strangulation.

Detectives were able to connect Gavin to all three murders based on evidence from the most recent homicide, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said during the briefing Thursday.

"Prior to that, the pattern of deaths in those houses could not be clearly linked to an individual," Gonzalez said. "After this unfortunate last killing, we were able to make a pretty definitive link to [Gavin]."

Gonzalez said that the arrest "will have a profound impact on public safety in Brooklyn." Though local leaders and the victims' family members are charging that more should have been done to protect residents of the complex following McKinney's murder in 2015.

"We're calling on the city, state and national resources to look into all of these murders, homicides, that were here," Councilwoman Inez Barron said Thursday during a press briefing with the victims' family members. "This has been a string of deaths that have occurred in a senior development, and we're saying the NYPD has been negligent ... and not put resources into solving these crimes in a timely manner."

Juanita Caballero's son, Steven Caballero, who discovered her body, said he is "heartbroken" over her murder and claimed that her building lacked significant security measures, such as cameras.

"NYCHA failed our families. They failed the McKinney family. They failed the James family. They failed my mother," said Steven Caballero. "They had time to do something, they just won't do nothing. I don't know what it's going to take for them to just put these cameras in the building."

His family plans to sue NYCHA over the security measures, the New York Daily News reported. The daughter of Jacolia James also filed suit against NYCHA last year, according to the paper.

"This building has no cameras. We need cameras. We need 'em now," Lamarr Crafton, the grandson of Jacolia James, said Thursday.

ABC News has reached out to NYCHA for comment on the cases and why Gavin was able to move into the building. The housing authority told New York ABC station WABC that the building currently has a security camera in the lobby, security doors and locks, and a security guard.

Harrison said police are now investigating other deaths in the building.

Gavin is being held without bail. His case was adjourned to Jan. 27. ABC News left a message with his attorney.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


kali9/iStockBy ROSA SANCHEZ, ABC News

(LOS ANGELES) -- Police officers and community members gathered at a press conference Friday to discuss the recent rise in gang violence in South LA.

The Los Angeles Police Department shared a report from the press conference, calling the uptick in criminal activity "disturbing," "unacceptable" and "horrific."

These community members demonstrate a commitment to leadership.

Words from one community member—“We are killing ourselves.”

— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) January 23, 2021

Authorities on Friday said there has been more gun violence in the area in the first weeks of 2021 than during the same time last year. In fact, newly released LAPD statistics show murders in the city have more than doubled.

"We are seeing military-style weaponry, with high-capacity ammo rounds," LAPD Deputy Chief Regina Scott said at the press conference, according to a video shared by KTLA. "At one homicide scene alone we collected almost 70 ammo rounds going over four different handguns -- at one scene. That is horrific, what we are seeing."

LAPD statistics show that more than two-thirds of the shootings this year happened in South LA.

The area saw 59 shooting victims in the first two weeks of 2021, compared to seven during the same time last year, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore tweeted on Jan. 16. "Officers have made 105 arrests of individuals with firearms. 130 firearms taken from street. Gang intervention trying, but we need our community and elected officials," he wrote.

Some have said the COVID-19 pandemic -- which has taken lives, shut down businesses, brought on an economic depression and caused great pain to so many -- is partially to blame for the violence.

"The violence in Los Angeles is really out of control," said LAPD Detective Jamie McBride, speaking on behalf of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, KABC reported. "And to be quite honest right now, in Los Angeles we're fighting two pandemics. We're fighting COVID and gun violence."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Oleksii Liskonih/iStockBy ERIN SCHUMAKER, ABC News

(AUGUSTA) -- As frustration mounts over slow COVID-19 vaccine rollouts at CVS and Walgreens around the country, Maine has been shifting supplies away from chain pharmacies to independent ones.

This week, the state transferred 975 doses from Walgreens to an independent pharmacy and next week it plans to transfer 500 doses away from CVS, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The decision was driven by the principles of velocity and equity, which are foundations of Maine's vaccination plan," Robert Long, a Maine CDC spokesperson, told ABC News in a statement. "The doses had not been committed to scheduled clinics, so the Maine Immunization Program redirected them to vaccination sites that had ready and immediate needs."

This week, Maine didn't send any of the doses it received from the federal government to CVS or Walgreens.

But according to Long, the decision to pause the retail pharmacy program isn't a policy shift. Instead, he said, it reflects the fact that CVS and Walgreens already had enough doses to fulfill their commitments for the week.

"This is not an issue of pace," a CVS spokesperson told ABC News. "The 500 doses noted are being moved because the operator of 14 long-term care facilities -- Shalom House in Portland -- wanted to move to Bedard Pharmacy, with whom they have an existing relationship."

"There are several factors that may leave us with more doses than initially planned," a Walgreens spokesperson told ABC News. "For example, the patient population at a long-term care facility has shifted, patients or staff elect not to get the vaccine, or a facility overestimated doses needed."

"We are not messing around with this," Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC, said during a news conference last week. "We've got doses waiting to be administered and people waiting to receive them. If we see a mismatch there, we are going to continue moving things around in that fashion."

It remains to be seen if Maine will follow in the footsteps of West Virginia, which was lauded for a successful vaccine rollout that relied on partnering with independent pharmacies instead of chains.

As of Jan. 21, West Virginia had vaccinated 9,349 out of every 100,000 residents, among the best per capita rates in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By comparison, Maine's per capita vaccination rate was 5,989 vaccines administered for every 100,000 people.

And while the Maine CDC said that West Virginia's success with independent pharmacies had no influence on Maine's decision to reallocate doses, the two states do have some key similarities.

While slightly more than half of pharmacies in Maine are chains, compared to 41% of pharmacies in West Virginia, both states have a dearth of chains in rural neighborhoods, according to an ABC News analysis of SafeGraph data. In Maine, there are only six chain pharmacies per 100,000 people in rural areas. Rural neighborhoods in West Virginia have roughly eight chain pharmacies per 100,000 people.

John Beckner, senior director of strategic initiatives at the National Community Pharmacists Association, which represents independent pharmacies, said that independent pharmacies had wanted to be involved in the initial vaccine distribution effort.

"We had numerous meetings and calls with CDC and HHS. We lobbied," he said. "By and large, states have elected to use CVS and Walgreens. In some cases that worked OK. In other cases, there were a lot of bumps in the road."

And despite the perception that independent pharmacies aren't as well equipped as the big chains to handle vaccinations, Beckner, a pharmacist by training, stressed that independent pharmacists often have decades of experience immunizing patients. There's also the relationship factor: In addition to existing partnerships with nursing homes, in rural communities without a doctor, local pharmacist sometimes double as primary care.

While tricky requirements for storing the Pfizer vaccine make the Moderna a more realistic option for pharmacies "the main challenge for our members has been access to the vaccine," Beckner said.

More states are reaching out to independent pharmacies, according to Beckner, and with the prospect of additional vaccines like Johnson & Johnson's in the pipeline, Beckner is hopeful that independents will have a bigger role to play when vaccinations of the general public start.

"What we've seen in West Virginia is best practice, quite frankly," he said. "Other states have really taken notice."

ABC News' Mark Nichols contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(NEW YORK) -- One lucky person is taking home the Mega Millions jackpot cash.

At around 1 a.m. ET Saturday, the list of lottery winners was announced. A person in Michigan won the jackpot, estimated at $1 billion or $739.6 million as a lump-sum, before taxes.

The winning ticket was sold at a Kroger located in Novi, a northern suburb of Detroit -- about a 30-minute drive from the city -- the state lottery website confirmed. The winning numbers were 4-26-42-50-60 with a Mega Ball number of 24.

The winner's identity has not been revealed, but, per state lottery rules, they must come forward to claim their winnings.

The winner will have two options to collect the record prize, the lottery said in a statement: "The first is an escalating annuity that offers an initial payment, then annual payments for 29 years. The player also may select a one-time cash payment of about $739 million. If a player selects the cash option, they will receive about $530 million after tax withholdings."

The Mega Millions jackpot increased to $1 billion for Friday night's drawing.

It is the second-largest jackpot in Mega Millions history and the third-largest in U.S. lottery history, Mega Millions lottery officials said. The $1.537 billion won by a person in South Carolina on Oct. 23, 2018 is still the world's largest lotto prize ever awarded on a single ticket.

This is the 18th Mega Millions jackpot won in Michigan, according to a lottery press release. The last winner in the state shared the prize with a Rhode Island winner on Oct. 13, 2017. Until Friday night's win, the largest lottery prize ever won by a Michigan player was a $337 million Powerball jackpot. Donald Lawson, of Lapeer, won it on Aug. 15, 2012. On April 22, 2005, Port Huron couple Ralph and Mary Stebbins, won $208 million playing Mega Millions -- it was the largest Mega Millions prize ever won in the state.

Michigan is one of the original founding members of Mega Millions.

"About 97 cents of every dollar spent on Lottery tickets is returned to the state in the form of contributions to the state School Aid Fund, prizes to players and commissions to vendors and retailers," the state lottery said in a statement. "In the 2019 fiscal year, the Lottery provided more than $1 billion for Michigan's public schools, its fifth record contribution in a row. Since it began in 1972, the Lottery has contributed more than $23 billion to support public education in Michigan."

The Match 5 winners were two people in Florida, one in Maryland, one in Missouri, one in New Jersey, one in New York and two in Pennsylvania. Each will take home $1 million. Also, two people -- one in North Carolina and one in Virginia -- won the Match 5 Megaplier. Each will take home $2 million.

On Wednesday, a winning Powerball ticket worth $731.1 million was sold in Allegany County, Maryland. The ticket was the fourth-largest in Powerball history and the sixth-largest in U.S. lottery history. Lottery winners in Maryland have the right to remain anonymous.

The previous jackpot, which was worth $120 million, was won by a person in Wisconsin on Sept. 15, 2020.

Powerball's jackpot is resetting to $20 million for Saturday's drawing. The next drawing is on Tuesday, Jan. 26.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Jordan Strauss/Getty Images


(LOS ANGELES) -- Legendary talk show host Larry King, whose career took him from local to syndicated radio to global TV stardom, has died at age 87.

A statement from King's production company, Ora Media, posted on King's official Twitter announced his death "with profound sadness," saying King "passed away this morning at age 87 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles."  A spokesperson for King's family also confirmed his death to ABC News.

On January 2, King was hospitalized for COVID-19 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, a source close to the King family told ABC News then.

King overcame several health challenges over the years, including a heart attack that led to bypass surgery and ultimately encouraged King to quit smoking. King also survived lung cancer and underwent surgery at Cedars-Sinai in 2017, and was treated for prostate cancer in 1999.

In 2019, King suffered a stroke that left him unable to walk on his left foot, and he was sometimes seen using a wheelchair afterward." I never thought I'd be 86," King told Page Six at the time. “My father died when he was 43, 44. I thought I would die too.”  "I have no complaints. Everything that’s happened to me, I’m grateful for," he added. "Maybe that sounds cliché, but I'm really, really grateful."

The award-winning newsman, whose lengthy career earned him the nickname "The Iron Horse of Broadcasting," was known for his gravelly baritone, signature suspenders and straightforward questions, a style honed over the course of tens of thousands of interviews on the radio and television.

Born Lawrence Harvey Zeiger, the Brooklyn native wanted to be on the radio from a young age. After graduating high school, he got his first radio job in Florida in the 1950s. He got his first break on-air in Miami, where he became known by the moniker Larry King, which he ultimately made his legal name.

In 1978, King began hosting the nationally-syndicated The Larry King Show on the Mutual Broadcasting System, which he hosted for 16 years before stepping down in 1994.  During that time, he also made the move to TV, and hosted the CNN program Larry King Live from 1985 to 2010. Oprah Winfrey notably endorsed Barack Obama on the show during the 2008 presidential campaign.

In recent years, King hosted Larry King Now on Hulu, RT American and Ora TV, the latter a production company King co-founded with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim in 2012. King was also hosting the show Politicking with Larry King on the channels until his death.

King didn't escape controversy over his decades-long career. Most recently, in 2019, he unknowingly filmed a Chinese propaganda infomercial in a fake interview with a Russian journalist, as reported by ProPublica. "I never should have done it, obviously," King told the publication then.

King was recognized with two Peabody Awards and one Emmy Award, among other honors. He was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 1992.

King has also authored several books, did voice work in TV shows and movies, including Shrek 2 and Bee Movie, and made cameos in TV shows and films, including Ghostbusters.

In 1988, a year after he survived a heart attack, the newsman founded the Larry King Cardiac Foundation to help those with heart disease pay for their medical treatment. 

A lifelong Dodgers fan, from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, King was often seen behind home plate at Dodgers Stadium.

King was married eight times to seven women and had five children. In August, 2020, he revealed that two of his children had died within weeks of each other. Andy, 65, died of a heart attack on July 28, 2020, and Chaia, 51, passed away on August 20 shortly after a lung cancer diagnosis.

King is survived by his sons, Larry, Chance and Cannon, as well as nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. 



(WASHINGTON) -- Federal authorities are continuing to charge rioters who took part in the siege on Capitol Hill.

The FBI and ATF field offices in Washington have also increased the reward to $75,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person suspected of planting pipe bombs outside the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee on Jan. 6.

Here are the latest arrests:

Man seen chasing officer Goodman during Capitol riot detained

Douglas Jensen, the man seen in a viral video wearing a distinctive "Q" T-shirt and chasing Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman through the Capitol halls, has been detained pending further proceedings in his case.

A federal judge in Washington stepped in to overrule an Iowa district court judge's decision that would have released Jensen from government custody.

According to an emergency motion filed Friday in D.C. by the Justice Department, Jensen was in possession of a knife while he was chasing Officer Goodman, though never pulled it out.

New Jersey gym owner who allegedly punched cop

Scott Fairlamb, a New Jersey gym owner, was arrested Friday for allegedly shoving and punching a Capitol Police officer during the riot. He faces several charges, including assaulting a federal officer and carrying a dangerous weapon.

Authorities said they received several tips from people who identified Fairlamb in video footage wearing a brown camouflage jacket at the Capitol. The officer also described his alleged assailant as wearing the same jacket, according to the FBI affidavit.

Other footage showed Fairlamb carrying a collapsible baton, according to the affidavit.

Fairlamb held a protest at his Pompton Lakes gym in May in response to Gov. Murphy’s coronavirus restrictions.

Man ordered off Delta flight for yelling 'Trump 2020'

A man who was removed from a Delta flight for repeatedly yelling "Trump 2020" was arrested after an officer recognized him from an Instagram video of the Capitol riot, according to a newly unsealed criminal complaint.

John Lolos was preparing to leave Washington, D.C., on Jan. 8 when the flight crew escorted him off the plane for the "continuing disturbance," the FBI affidavit stated. About 45 minutes later, an airport police officer who saw Lolos return to the gate was scrolling through Instagram and found a video from the riots that showed Lolos exiting the Capitol, according to the affidavit.

The officer alerted agents from Capitol Police's Dignitary Protective Division who then arrested Lolos at the gate, according to the affidavit.

Lolos confirmed with the agents that he was in the video, which showed him waving a "Trump 2020 Keep America Great!" flag that was hooked together with an American flag, according to the affidavit. Lolos was also allegedly wearing the same shirt and carrying with him the same flags as seen in the video.

Lolos was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, as well as violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Ohio man who allegedly stole coat rack from Capitol building

The Justice Department has charged two men from Ohio in connection with the riot, including one who allegedly stole a wooden coat rack from the Capitol building.

Capitol Police initially confronted Robert Lyon and Dustin Thompson outside of the Capitol following the Jan. 6 riot while they were waiting for an Uber, according to a criminal complaint.

When agents ordered Thompson to put down a coat rack he had allegedly carried out of the Capitol building, he fled on foot, according to the complaint.

Lyon remained behind and gave officers his and Thompson's personal information before they let him go, according to the complaint.

When interviewed by FBI agents at his home on Jan. 11, Lyon allegedly denied ever entering the Capitol. Investigators said surveillance pictures of both men, which were included in the FBI affidavit, placed them at the scene.

California QAnon supporter

A QAnon conspiracy theorist from California is facing charges for allegedly participating in the riot, according to a criminal complaint.

The FBI in an affidavit said it started an investigation into Kevin Strong prior to the Capitol insurrection after a witness reported he "had been showing signs of behavioral changes over the last few months including stock-piling items and telling others to get ready for Martial Law, rioting, and protesting."

Strong, an employee with the Federal Aviation Administration in San Bernardino, was known to have declared he had "Q clearance" and recently purchased a new truck believing that QAnon would cover the debt, according to the FBI.

FBI agents interviewed Strong after a witness' photos placed him at the Capitol, authorities said. During the interview, Strong allegedly provided them with his phone which had photos of him inside the Capitol. Strong claimed he did not damage the building or attack law enforcement, the affidavit stated.

Strong also allegedly told agents he was a QAnon supporter.

Man who allegedly enabled beating of officer with an American flag

A man faces charges after allegedly enabling the beating of a Capitol Police officer with an American flag during the riot.

Jeffrey Sabol, 51, turned himself in to the FBI Friday morning in Rye, New York. He was charged with obstructing a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder.

Sabol was allegedly seen in a video of the incident published by the Washington Post dragging a police officer down the stairs of the Capitol while wearing a tan jacket, black helmet and green backpack -- items prosecutors said he admitted to wearing the day of the insurrection.

Sabol was held without bail by a federal judge who called the video "very disturbing and deeply troubling."

"That conduct is beyond the pale," the judge said. "It is troubling to a degree that really, I find it shocking."

NYC Sanitation Department employee

A New York City Sanitation Department employee was arrested for allegedly participating in the riot.

Dominick Madden faces three charges, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. A judge ordered Friday that he be released on $250,000 bond.

Madden was allegedly "photographed and videotaped shouting the QAnon slogan, wearing a QAnon hoodie, and waving a Trump flag in front of the Capitol building," according to court records.

Madden has been suspended. Mayor Bill de Blasio has said any city employee associated with the Capitol riot will be terminated.

Member of extremist group Three Percenters

Robert Gieswein -- part of the Oath-keepers, an extremist group related to The Three Percenters -- was charged with assaulting a federal officer with bear spray and a baseball bat.

According to court documents, Gieswein "encouraged other rioters as they broke a window of the Capitol building; entered ... and then charged through the Capitol building."

An FBI affidavit confirmed that Gieswein runs a private paramilitary training group called the Woodland Wild Dogs and that he was identified from a patch for that group that was visible on a tactical vest he wore during the attack on Congress.

The affidavit said Gieswein gave a media interview echoing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and that Congress needs "to get the corrupt politicians out of office. Pelosi, the Clintons ... every single one of them, Biden, Kamala."

On Jan. 22, a federal judge in Colorado ordered that Gieswein be detained pending further legal proceedings in his case -- citing the potential danger he could pose to the general public.

Magistrate Judge Scott Varholak said in the hearing that Gieswein came to D.C. "for battle," with pictures and videos showing him dressed in military gear, carrying a baseball bat and in possession of aerosol spray that he shot at police trying to secure the building.

Gieswein's defense attorney argued he should be released on bail citing his lack of a previous criminal record while calling the riot an isolated incident "at a unique time in our history."

Varholak responded that such a unique situation does not excuse Gieswein's alleged actions at the Capitol.

"That is somebody who is going for battle," Varholak said. "And it is that level of forethought that that takes, and the planning that that takes, is different."

A federal prosecutor also revealed during the hearing that prior to turning himself in, Gieswein deleted all of his social accounts, destroyed his tactical equipment and told authorities he lost his cellphone.

Georgia lawyer who allegedly kicked down Pelosi's door

A federal judge in Georgia has denied bail for William Calhoun, a lawyer who allegedly bragged about helping to kick down a door leading to the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Authorities found camouflage, guns, a handgun, eight rifles and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition in his closet after a search of his residence.

Calhoun allegedly spoke of "violent retribution against the media and the Democrats" in social media postings, even captioning one picture of Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., "Do you want a bullet to the head?"

Judge Charles Weigle said he believed evidence put forward against Calhoun clearly showed he represents a danger to the community and is a flight risk if released from custody.

Addressing the riot at the Capitol as a whole, Weigle called it "an act of extreme violence by every single person who went in there."

"When you and your friends went in there and tore the place to shreds, killed five people including a police officer, you showed ... that there was nothing that would hold you back except for force," Weigle said. "That's why we had 25,000 National Guardsmen at our inauguration yesterday -- a shame and a scandal for our entire country. And if you don't respect the Capitol Police, if you don't respect the Capitol building of the United States, I don't have any reason to believe that you'll respect anything that I tell you to do."

Weigle said he wouldn't be comfortable sending a probation officer to Calhoun's home because of possible retaliation.

Calhoun was remanded into the custody of U.S. Marshals who will transport him to Washington, D.C., where he'll be detained pending further proceedings in his case.

New York man who said he traveled with the Proud Boys

A man who said he traveled to Washington, D.C., with a former NYPD officer and members of the Proud Boys to take part in the siege on the Capitol has been charged by the Department of Justice.

New York resident Christopher Kelly allegedly posted photos of himself with rioters on Facebook, according to federal court documents.

Kelly specifically said he was traveling with his brother, who the FBI confirmed is a retired NYPD officer, according to the complaint.

He allegedly also responded to comments on his Facebook page in real time as the riots were taking place.

ABC News' previous coverage has identified the Proud Boys as an "alt-right" or "far-right extremist group" that has engaged in violence and whose members include those with connections to white nationalism.

Rioter who attacked police officer with hockey stick

Michigan resident Michael Joseph Foy was arrested after he allegedly assaulted a police officer with a hockey stick at the Capitol riot.

Following a tip, the FBI identified Foy as the man seen in a New York Times video swinging a hockey stick repeatedly at a Metropolitan Police officer who had been pulled from an entryway to the Capitol by the mob, according to federal court documents.

Foy attacked the officer for 16 seconds before he was knocked down by another rioter, according to the FBI's analysis of the video. Foy later entered the Capitol through a broken window, the affidavit says.

Proud Boys organizer charged with joining the violence

One of the leaders of the Proud Boys, Joseph Biggs, was arrested Wednesday in Florida on charges related to the violence at the Capitol.

Biggs' charging affidavit describes the Proud Boys' planning leading up to the Capitol riot, including messages that were sent to the group by its leader Enrique Tarrio, who was arrested the day before the attack.

In one message, Tarrio allegedly encouraged the Proud Boys to not wear their traditional black and yellow colors so they could "be incognito and we will spread across downtown DC in smaller teams," according to the court documents.

Biggs echoed that call in a separate message on Parler, directing his comments to Antifa, saying, "We will be blending in as one of you. You won't see us. You'll even think we are you ... We are going to smell like you, move like you, and look like you. The only thing we'll do that's us is think like us!" the affidavit states.

Investigators identified Biggs in multiple photos and videos from the Jan. 6 insurrection, dressed in a blue and gray plaid sweater.

The affidavit notes that Proud Boys member Dominic Pezzola, who has already been indicted, joined Biggs in the riot and can be seen with an earpiece in his right ear, along with multiple individuals the FBI says were identified wearing earpieces from the Proud Boys.

In a Jan. 18 interview with the FBI, Biggs denied having any knowledge of a pre-planned attack on the Capitol and said he had no idea who planned it.

In the affidavit for Biggs' arrest, an FBI agent describes the Proud Boys as "a nationalist organization with multiple U.S. chapters and potential activity in other Western countries."

Man who attacked Metropolitan Police officer

A Connecticut man who allegedly assaulted Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges has been arrested.

Hodges was the officer seen in video being smushed in the doorway and crying out for help.

Ridgefield resident Patrick McCaughey, who is a citizen of both the U.S. and Germany, is charged with assaulting a police officer, disorderly conduct and illegally being inside the U.S. Capitol, according to federal court documents.

McCaughey allegedly pinned Hodges to a door with a police shield, which McCaughey illegally obtained, court documents state.

"As McCaughey was using the riot shield to push against Officer Hodges, numerous other rioters behind and around McCaughey appeared to add to the weight against Officer Hodges," the charging affidavit states.

McCaughey was identified by a childhood friend who called the FBI tipline. Security camera footage included in the affidavit also shows McCaughey allegedly holding a MPD riot shield.

The affidavit also states that the majority of McCaughey's actions were captured on a YouTube video in which he can allegedly be heard saying, "Don't try and use that stick on me boy" while continuing to push Hodges with shield. The "stick" he was referring to is believed to be Hodges' police riot baton, the affidavit states.

He then allegedly began to strike officers with that shield.

McCaughey was ordered held without bail during his court appearance Wednesday.

A federal judge described the YouTube video as "extraordinarily disturbing," saying it was sufficient evidence to keep him in custody.

Hodges told ABC News last week he thought he'd die as a result of the rioters' actions.

"I thought, 'This could be the end,' or 'I could not get out of this completely intact,'" he said.

Man who questioned FBI's loyalty to the Constitution

A Florida man was arrested Wednesday morning in Alexandria, Virginia, for his alleged participation in the Capitol riot.

Samuel Camargo was identified by authorities based on tips provided by associates and his own social media posts, according to federal court documents.

The FBI contacted Camargo by phone, and in that conversation, Camargo allegedly admitted that he attended the protests in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6 but had since returned to Broward County, Florida, according to the charging affidavit.

Camargo allegedly then became uncooperative in the interview, questioning the investigating agent's loyalty to the Constitution, court records state.

Apparently thinking the conversation had gone well, Camargo allegedly posted a message on social media stating, "Just finished speaking to an FBI agent, I believe I've been cleared."

Camargo faces four charges, including civil disorder, entering a restricted building, disruptive conduct in a restricted building and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, the court documents state.

A New York man who allegedly brought firearms and a bulletproof vest to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6 was arrested and charged.

Samuel Fisher allegedly posted a photo of himself holding a gun in front of a Trump flag with the caption, "Can't wait to bring a liberal back to this freedom palace," according to federal court documents.

After the riot, he allegedly posted a photo of multiple firearms on a couch, the FBI affidavit states.

Prosecutors pointed to multiple statements Fisher posted on social media that they say suggests he was prepared to engage in violence during the riot.

"We must stand up to these people and take our world back," he allegedly wrote on Dec. 3, 2020.

In another post that same day, Fisher allegedly wrote, "It's time to bring the pain upon them."

On the day of the insurrection, Fisher allegedly posted, "I'm Going To the parking garage super early" and "Leaving s--- in there maybe except pistol."

He continued, "And if it kicks off I got a Vest and My Rifle."

In a separate post, Fisher allegedly called on Trump to "fire the bat signal... deputize patriots... and then the pain comes."

"1 Million Pissed off men with guns…bad idea," Fisher allegedly wrote. "We aren't looking to fight or hurt anyone… but the odds that this is going to be solved any other way… is next to nothing."

Fisher was ordered held without bail during his court appearance Wednesday.

Authorities said during the hearing that they recovered a shotgun, knife, two machetes, two bulletproof vests and 1,000 rounds of ammunition, including shotgun shells and ammunition for an AR-15 in his Chevrolet Tahoe.

Two other firearms were also recovered during searches by federal investigators, prosecutors said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Schrier said the amount of ammo and the number of guns is a concern to federal prosecutors.

Rioters from Michigan, Florida arrested

The Justice Department has announced the arrest of Karl Dresch in Michigan based on his own extensive documenting of his participation in the riot via social media, according to federal court documents.

In one comment on an unidentified post the day after the riot, Dresch wrote, "Mike Pence gave our country to the communist hordes, traitor scum like the rest of them, we have your back give the word and we will be back even stronger." the affidavit states.

"We must stand up to these people and take our world back" / "It's time to bring the pain upon them," Fisher wrote on Dec. 3.

Jesus Rivera of Florida was also arrested Wednesday for his participation in the Jan. 6 riots.

Investigators cite videos Rivera uploaded to his Facebook Live of him joining the crowd that stormed the building.

1st conspiracy charges filed against Virginia man

The Justice Department has filed its first conspiracy charges from the Capitol riot against a Virginia man who they allege was an apparent leader of a group of militia members who were part of the mob that stormed the building.

Thomas Edward Caldwell is identified in an FBI affidavit as a member of the Oath Keepers. An agent alleges that he helped organize a group of eight to 10 of his fellow members to storm the Capitol with the intention of disrupting the counting of the Electoral College vote.

The group can be seen in video walking uniformly through a crowd of rioters trying to gain entrance to the Capitol.

Those members included co-conspirators Jessica Watkins and Donovan Crowl, who were charged for their role in the riots earlier this week. In social media posts, both Crowl and Watkins referred to Caldwell as "Commander," according to the court documents.

While inside the Capitol, Caldwell allegedly received Facebook messages telling him to "seal" in lawmakers in the tunnels under the Capitol and to "turn on gas." Other messages appeared to be trying to give him updates on the locations of lawmakers, the affidavit states.

Other texts reveal the extensive planning and even potential attacks that he and other members of the Oath Keepers were mounting leading up to the riots.

On Jan. 1, Caldwell allegedly messaged an individual recommending a room at the Comfort Inn Ballston in Arlington, Virginia, saying, "This is a good location and would allow us to hunt at night if we wanted to."

After the riot, Caldwell allegedly posted a Facebook message stating, "Us storming the castle. Please share. Sharon was right with me! I am such an instigator!" the affidavit states. He later wrote, "We need to do this at the local level. Lets storm the capitol in Ohio. Tell me when!"

Man seen wearing 'Murder the Media' shirt

A rioter who posed in front of the U.S. Capitol while wearing a shirt with the words "Murder the Media" emblazoned on it has been charged with illegally entering the Capitol. The phrase had also been etched onto a door inside the building, according to federal court documents.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Nicholas DeCarlo admitted that he entered the Capitol, but said he did so as a "journalist."

The charging documents against DeCarlo state that he is not on record as a credited journalist.

Rioter seen attacking police with a bat

A man who was captured on surveillance video attacking law enforcement with a bat at the entrance of the Capitol turned himself in to the Metropolitan Police Department on Monday.

Emanuel Jackson is allegedly the rioter seen in photos the FBI released to the public, according to federal court documents.

On the surveillance video, Jackson is allegedly seen making a fist and repeatedly striking a Capitol police officer while attempting to force himself into the building, his arrest affidavit states.

Later, he is "clearly observed" with a metal baseball bat striking a group of both Capitol and D.C. police officers, according to the court document.

It is unclear whether Jackson has retained an attorney.

Houston police officer

A longtime Houston Police officer who resigned after he participated in the riot has been federally changed.

Tam Dinh Pham initially denied his involvement in the siege when he was interviewed at his home in Richmond on Jan. 12, according to court documents.

After the interview, Pham agreed to hand over his cellphone, which investigators noticed had no photos from Jan. 6, the affidavit states. However, the "Deleted Items" folder contained photos and images of him inside the Capitol building.

When agents advised Pham that it is illegal to lie to the FBI, he admitted that he was part of the crowd that stormed into the Capitol but denied taking part in any violence, according to the court documents.

Woman in Louis Vuitton sweater

A woman has been charged for participating in the riot after at least six people identified her by the Louis Vuitton sweater she was wearing that day.

In one video, Gina Bisignano allegedly was seen taking part in a skirmish with police trying to protect the Capitol building, according to an FBI affidavit.

Bisignano was allegedly part of a crowd that crushed a screaming police officer while a rioter grabbed his gas mask. At one point, Bisignano allegedly told the officer, "You hurt my f------ leg," the court documents state.

In a separate video, Bisignano is allegedly seen feet away from police, telling them to stand down.

"We the people are not going to take it any more," she could be heard saying in another video, according to the affidavit. "You are not going to take away our votes. And our freedom, and I thank God for it. This is 1776, and we the people will never give up. We will never let our country go to the globalists."

After entering the Capitol, Bisignano was allegedly heard telling other rioters, "We need Americans. Come on guys. We needs patriots! You guys, it's the way in. We need some people."

2 Texas rioters, including a former Marine, accused of violence

Two Texas men have both been arrested over their roles in the violence at the Capitol, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.

Ryan Nichols and Alex Harkrider were identified from photos they posted to their social media accounts, along with several threatening messages calling for a violent overthrow of the government, according to an arrest affidavit.

In one video posted online, Nichols, a former Marine, can allegedly be seen yelling into a bullhorn in the direction of a large crowd, saying, "If you have a weapon, you need to get your weapon!" the federal court document states.

Nichols also allegedly said "This is the second revolution right here folks!" and "This is not a peaceful protest," according to the affidavit.

Both Nichols, 30, and Harkrider, 33, are seen in videos trying to force entry into the building, with Nichols allegedly spraying what appears to be a large canister of pepper spray in the direction of officers. Nichols was also allegedly in possession of a crowbar, the court document states.

The FBI also noted several other social posts from Nichols, including one on Dec. 24 that showed a bullet and stated, "By Bullet or Ballot, Restoration of the Republic is Coming," according to the affidavit. Another post on Dec. 28 stated, "Pence better do the right thing, or we're going to MAKE you do the right thing."

Nichols was once featured on "The Ellen Degeneres Show" in 2018 after he drove 18 hours to rescue dogs before Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina.

It is unclear whether Nichols and Harkrider have retained attorneys.

Member of extremist group Three Percenters

Robert Gieswein -- part of the Oath-keepers, an extremist group related to The Three Percenters -- was charged with assaulting a federal officer with bear spray and a baseball bat.

According to court documents, Gieswein "encouraged other rioters as they broke a window of the Capitol building; entered ... and then charged through the Capitol building."

An FBI affidavit confirmed that Gieswein runs a private paramilitary training group called the Woodland Wild Dogs and that he was identified from a patch for that group that was visible on a tactical vest he wore during the attack on Congress.

The affidavit said Gieswein gave a media interview echoing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and that Congress needs "to get the corrupt politicians out of office. Pelosi, the Clintons ... every single one of them, Biden, Kamala."

Retired NYFD firefighter

Freeport, New York, resident Thomas Fee surrendered to the FBI Tuesday morning at the bureau's resident agency on Long Island.

Fee, a retired NYFD firefighter, allegedly sent a relative of his girlfriend a selfie of himself inside the Capitol, prosecutors said. He's been charged by authorities.

In the text message, Fee, 53, allegedly wrote that he was "at the tip of the spear," a reference to the Capitol rotunda, according to the court documents.

Fee drove to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 5, and a license plate reader in New York picked up the Chevy Tahoe he was driving upon his return on Jan. 7, the court documents state.

At his court appearance Tuesday, a judge ordered Fee to avoid all political gatherings and to avoid the U.S. Capitol and all state capitols upon his release. He must also surrender his two guns -- a pistol grip shotgun and an antique rifle.

Federal prosecutors also recommended evaluation and treatment for substance abuse and mental health treatment.

Fee posted his home as collateral for her $100,000 bond.

It is unclear whether Fee has retained an attorney.

Former FIT student

Nicholas Moncada, a 20-year-old former student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan, was taken into custody at his Staten Island home Monday. He allegedly livestreamed his "storming" of the Capitol on Jan. 6, prosecutors said.

Moncada allegedly also posted a selfie of himself inside the Capitol, captioning it, "Outside Pelosi's office."

He was recognized by fellow FIT students, who then alerted the FBI to his involvement, according to the court documents.

During an appearance in a Brooklyn federal court Tuesday, Moncada was ordered to stay away from potentially antagonizing political events and speech after his release on $250,000 bond. His travel is also restricted to New York and Washington, D.C.

"There's obviously troubling conduct here," Assistant U.S. Attorney David Kessler said, though he noted the government did not object to Moncada's release on bond.

The bond was signed by Moncada's mother, grandmother and aunt.

Moncada was an illustration major, but had not been enrolled at the school since May 2020 and did not receive a degree, a spokesperson for FIT told ABC News.

In a statement to ABC News Monday, Moncada's attorney, Mario Gallucci, said he is not facing any violent charges.

"Mr. Moncada was taken into custody this morning by the FBI and has been charged with various sections of the United States Code for trespassing inside a restricted building and trying to disrupt or impeded the conduct of Government business, as well as, trespassing on the floor of various Government rooms including the House of Congress, the lobby adjacent to the floor and the Rayburn Room of the House of Congress," Galluci said. "I do not believe he is being charged with committing any acts of violence. Mr. Moncada denies any participation in the effort to overthrow the Government, and he looks forward to defending his good name."

Dozens of rioters who participated in the siege have already been taken into custody.

Last week, the man seen wearing a "Camp Auschwitz" hoodie, Olympic gold medalist swimmer Klete Keller and several members of law enforcement were arrested in connection to the riot.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Spencer Platt/Getty ImagesBy STEPHANIE EBBS and CHEYENNE HASLETT, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Governors and state health officials are facing a frustrating reality as they try to make more people eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine: They can vaccinate only as many people as there are doses and the supply is falling short of demand.

"We can't give you a vaccine shot if we don't have the vaccines can we? We just can't,” West Virginia GOP Gov. Jim Justice said Thursday, calling the situation "unacceptable."

Health experts say speeding up vaccinations is critical to stopping the rapid spread of the virus, especially before new variants make the crisis worse.

"The amount of vaccine that comes into the state and is available to put into people's arms is solely a federal solution," Minnesota Democratic Gov. Tony Evers said.

"It's my hope that the president does everything in his power to increase production," he said. "If we want to do this as quickly as possible, we need to have more."

But even as the Biden administration pledges to amp up production of materials to administer vaccines -- such as syringes -- by using the Defense Production Act, it’s unclear how much faster vaccine doses can be made.

The two types of vaccines available now – made by Pfizer and Moderna –have never before been manufactured on such a massive scale. And while production is expected to increase this spring – Moderna has promised 100 million doses by the end of March with April considered the month the general public will be offered shots – the vaccine makers do not publicize weekly or monthly estimates.

“I don’t think by late February we’re going to have vaccine in every pharmacy in this country,” Rochelle Walensky, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told NBC “Today” Show this week.

Meanwhile, almost 60% of older Americans say they don’t know how or when they can get the vaccine, according to a poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, and only 3 in 10 adults in the poll gave the federal government positive marks on the vaccine rollout.

Until more people can be vaccinated with the limited supply, state and local leaders are left urging residents to be patient.

"There's a natural bottleneck for vaccine production, you know. We're not going to see a doubling of vaccine availability anytime soon. So I do want to temper expectations that it's going to take a little while, almost certainly, to really see much increase in our vaccine supply,” Mississippi State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs said.

The federal government anticipated that there would be challenges supplying enough vaccine for all Americans even with Operation Warp Speed’s efforts with vaccine companies to start producing doses even before any vaccines were authorized by the FDA.

Expecting a short supply initially, the CDC recommended that only specific groups of essential frontline workers or older Americans would be eligible during “phases” of distribution, helping to limit the demand to smaller populations at a time.

But in the final days of the Trump administration, the federal government called on states to expand eligibility so as to stop new cases and boost vaccination numbers

The directive sparked criticism of backlogs in states, but states said they were out of doses to give. Governors accused the Trump administration of creating the false expectations by promising to release a reserve of vaccine that had been released weeks ago.

“When they said they were opening it up to 65 plus, they also said they were going to increase supply and production, right. That’s when they said they were going to free up their reserves because they had more reserves and they were going to increase production. That never happened either, which made it worse,” New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a briefing Friday.

Cuomo said the state will use all of the doses allocated to them in the first five weeks as of Friday and will now only have one week’s supply of vaccine at a time. The state and New York City have had to cancel some vaccine appointments as the supply fluctuated but Cuomo urged providers not to book people for appointments until they know the amount of vaccine they’ll receive.

The CDC’s vaccine tracker shows states have vastly improved their ability to get vaccines out and into the arms of people who qualify — boosting arguments by governors who say they’ve worked out the kinks in distribution and are just looking for more supply.

As of Friday, nearly every state in the country had reported administering vaccines to more than 4,000 people per 100,000, a per capita measurement that shows the speed of vaccine injections regardless of how big or small a state’s population is.

Aside from Nevada and Alabama, every state has reported administering at this level, per the tracker, while some states, including Connecticut, Oklahoma and Colorado, have begun vaccinating more.

The Biden administration, just two days in, now holds the responsibility for muddling through the confusion, which they so far haven’t been able to answer for.

“What we've really got to do is go into the trenches, and I've said this so many times, and figure out, what is it that's the cause of what we're hearing, that sometimes doses are not being given and they're hanging around, and another state is saying, we need more doses,” Fauci, Biden’s chief medical adviser, said on CNN on Friday.

Asked how the public is supposed to understand the dysfunction in the system if Fauci doesn’t, he told CNN that he honestly doesn’t know.

“I have to tell you honestly, I don't know right now. We have to go back and figure out what that is. And the important thing is to fix it,” Fauci said.

Governors are now working directly with the Biden administration to better understand their plans and push for changes to the process like notifying states further in advance how much vaccine they will receive each week.

"We would welcome the federal government coming in and setting up mass sites, but only if it means more vaccine is coming to Ohio,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said in a letter to Biden reported by the Dayton Daily News.

And governors like Justice say they’ll be pushing the administration to do anything they can to protect more people in their state.

"It is one thing and one thing alone is today, today right now if they send us vaccines we'll put them in somebody's arm. And as soon as we put them in somebody's arm it's going to be saving somebody's life,” he said.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


halbergman/iStockBy KELLY MCCARTHY

(NEW YORK) -- As a few major cities are on track to reopen restaurants for indoor dining amid the COVID-19 pandemic, other food capitals have been left in the dark without plans or timelines of their own.

Some cities allowing indoor dining again

For the first time since October, restaurant-goers in Chicago could legally dine indoors again as soon as Saturday to enjoy a meal while adhering to other COVID-19 safety precautions.

Chicago and Suburban Cook County entered Tier 2 of reopening within COVID-19 rules, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced Friday, which will pave the way for a return to indoor dining as soon as Saturday.

"If metrics continue to improve or are stable, regions 10 and 11 are on track to advance to Tier 1," the department said of the Chicago region.

The progress comes on the heels of an update from Chicago Public Health Department Commissioner Dr. Alison Arwady earlier this week who said that indoor dining would soon resume. Arwady said the city will enforce a four-person table limit, and a 25% overall capacity limit, along with mask-wearing and tables spaced apart at all restaurants and bars that serve food, as the state outlined in its mitigation response plan.

After three months of bans on indoor dining in the state, the Illinois Restaurant Association has continued to push for small businesses looking for ways to keep customers safe, while still protecting the industry from collapse.

In Baltimore, on-premise dining at restaurants resumed Friday after a six-week shutdown.

Mayor Brandon Scott announced restaurants would be allowed to serve both inside and outside at a limited capacity with a one-hour time limit.

New York City demands answers

Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, told "Good Morning America" that "it's shocking" that restaurant owners are still serving customers curbside and takeout only as other cities start to welcome guests back.

"We've seen Philly, Baltimore, now I hear Chicago is going to be reopening indoor dining and New York City is teetering on the edge of survival without even so much information as to know what has to happen in order for them to reopen," Rigie said. "They're completely forgotten."

"Why is indoor dining closed in New York City when it's open at 50% indoor occupancy around the rest of the state where the infection and hospitalization rates are higher?," he continued.

Last Thursday, WABC New York reported that indoor dining was allowed to resume in some orange zones around the state after a court decision ruled against Gov. Andrew Cuomo's virus restrictions.

Even if eateries in the five boroughs had the "equitable standards" as Rigie described, he said restaurant operators would know what has to happen in order to resume operating indoors. "What are the metrics? People need to make decisions and they've been provided no information ... There's so much uncertainty," he said.

Rigie also called on the Biden administration and Congress to work to pass the Restaurant Act, part of the revitalization fund that would help small business owners pay for missed rent, payroll, vendor expenses and more that have piled up over the past 11 months.

"It's an impossible situation. This industry that is so vital to the economic and social fabric of NYC is being crushed," he said. "We've stepped up to serve our neighbors and front-line workers -- while we're in the midst of our own crisis -- to be treated with disregard is shameful, but it's not too late for all levels of government to step up and provide restaurants and workers the support they need to give them a fighting chance of survival."

Los Angeles County restaurants limp along

On Nov. 19, 2020, LA County ceased all on-site dining for a second time amid the pandemic due to Gov. Gavin Newsom's stay-at-home order and the broader regional order that he signed on Dec. 3, 2020.

Now, a group of nearly a dozen state senators from both parties have asked Newsom "to move restaurants into the 'essential' category and permit them to reopen statewide, despite the current public health lockdown," ABC News Los Angeles reported.

"We ask that you immediately reclassify the restaurant industry as critical infrastructure before more damage is done,'' the letter said. "As it is becoming obvious to Californians, these essential businesses do more than simply provide a place to eat. Restaurants are active participants in local neighborhoods, providing meals to senior citizens and working with food banks to feed families struggling to put food on their tables."

What's next for the industry amid uncertainty

Sean Kennedy, executive vice president for Public Affairs of the National Restaurant Association wrote to congressional leaders that "more than 500,000 restaurants of every business type -- are in an economic free fall."

"For every month that passes without a solution from Congress, thousands of more restaurants will close their doors for good," he said in the letter last month.

Independent restaurants alone account for the employment of 16 million Americans, according to the Independent Restaurant Coalition.

Until more questions are answered, the aforementioned group that has continually fought for owners, chefs, line cooks, porters and other employees that make up the second-largest private industry in the U.S., has hailed the Paycheck Protection Program as a valuable step toward recovery,

Before his inauguration, Biden unveiled his economic plan last week calling for direct aid for restaurants. He also vowed to work with Congress in order to provide support to help the hospitality industry to survive.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Michael Ciaglo/Getty ImagesBy GMA Team

(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Air Force is changing its rules on how women in the service are allowed to wear their hair.

Starting next month, women will be allowed to wear their hair in longer braids, ponytails and bangs, Air Force officials announced Thursday.

The new rules, based on feedback from thousands of women in the Air Force, are intended to reflect the diversity among enlisted Airmen and officers.

"In addition to the health concerns we have for our Airmen, not all women have the same hair type, and our hair standards should reflect our diverse force," Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass said in a statement. "I am pleased we could make this important change for our women service members."

Among the complaints from women in the Air Force were that the previous rules on hair standards, "resulted in damage to hair, migraines and in some cases, hair loss," according to the Air Force.

Women currently make up around 21% of the Air Force.

The military service's changes to its hair standards come as more private companies and local and state officials are also taking action to prevent discrimination.

In November, the United Parcel Service eliminated its rules against facial hair and natural hairstyles for its male employees.

Last year, Montgomery County, Maryland, became the first county in the U.S. to ban discrimination based on hairstyles on a local level.

When the California legislature passed the CROWN Act in 2019, it made California the first state in the nation to ban natural hair discrimination.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Stefani Reynolds/Getty ImagesBy LUKE BARR, ABC News

(WASHINGTON) -- Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle expressed outrage Friday at images of National Guard members, sent from around the country to secure the Capitol, resting and sleeping in nearby parking garages.

"I have told those who run the security at the Capitol that it can never happen again," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor Friday. "I have pledged to every National Guard member it will not happen again. The minute I heard about this outrage last night we made sure it was fixed immediately. Every member of the Guard was found proper accommodations inside and as of this morning everyone was accounted for and taken care of this. This morning I went over to the CVC (Capitol Visitors Center) and I spoke to a number of Guardsmen personally to make sure they were okay."

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell echoed Schumer's sentiment.

"I don't think a single senator finds that acceptable," McConnell said. "I'm glad the situation was resolved and I hope we learn exactly what happened."

The No. 3 Senate Republican John Thune said he had reached out to members of the South Dakota National Guard.

"It breaks your heart. I mean these are people who are here serving the country, protecting us, protecting our freedom and our democracy and there's absolutely no excuse for that and I'm glad it got corrected and corrected quickly. That was just flat wrong." Thune said.

According to Politico, on Thursday night thousands of National Guard members were forced to vacate the Capitol where they had been staying to provide inauguration security.

“Yesterday dozens of senators and congressmen walked down our lines taking photos, shaking our hands and thanking us for our service. Within 24 hours, they had no further use for us and banished us to the corner of a parking garage. We feel incredibly betrayed,” Politico quoted one Guard member as saying, complaining about the conditions.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat from Illinois and a retired combat veteran who lost both legs in Iraq, called the situation "unreal" and offered her office for the Guard members to use. Members of both parties did the same, including New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.

"My office is free this week to any service members who’d like to use it for a break or take nap on the couch. We’ll stock up on snacks for you all too," Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter.

Freshman Rep. Madison Cawthorn, a Republican from North Carolina, posted video of himself delivering pizzas to Guard members in the parking structure.

"No soldier will ever, ever sleep on a garage floor in the US Capitol while I work in Congress," he tweeted.

As of Friday morning, it was still unclear who exactly told the National Guard members to move out of the Capitol hallways and into the parking garages.

The Capitol Police acting chief in a statement on Friday denied her force asked the National Guard to move .

"I want to assure everyone that, with the exception of specific times on Inauguration Day itself while the swearing-in ceremonies were underway, the United States Capitol Police did not instruct the National Guard to vacate the Capitol Building facilities. And on Inauguration Day, the Guard was notified and encouraged to reoccupy the spaces in the Capitol and CVC at 2 p.m," Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said.

New Hampshire GOP Gov. Chris Sununu, Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered their state Guard contingents back home.

"I’ve ordered the immediate return of all New Hampshire National Guard from Washington DC. They did an outstanding job serving our nation’s capital in a time of strife and should be graciously praised, not subject to substandard conditions," he wrote on Twitter.

On Friday afternoon, the National Guard and Capitol Police issued a joint statement, saying they are "united in the common goal to protect the U.S. Capitol and the Congress during this time.

"As with any large security operation, coordination and flexibility are required for all involved," the statement said. "The USCP and the National Guard have coordinated their efforts to ensure that National Guardsmen and women are stationed throughout the Capitol Complex are in appropriate spaces within Congressional buildings, including the U.S. Capitol, where they may take on-duty breaks.

"Off-duty troops are being housed in hotel rooms or other comfortable accommodations. The National Guard appreciates the continuous support of Congressional members who expressed concern for our National Guard men and women," the statement said.

Also Friday afternoon, first lady Jill Biden stopped by outside the Capitol with a treat for some of the National Guard members: chocolate chip cookies.

ABC News' Allison Pecorin, Mariam Khan and Matt Seyler contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesBy KELLY MCCARTHY, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- As President Joe Biden was sworn into office on Wednesday, inauguration attendees bundeled up to stay warm in the mostly cloudy, 42-degree weather, but no one appeared more prepared than Sen. Bernie Sanders.

His practical coat and handmade mittens went viral on social media almost instantaneously, in stark contrast to the high-fashion looks of Vice President Kamala Harris and former first Lady Michelle Obama.

Bernie dressed like the inauguration is on his to do list today but ain’t his whole day.

— Reeezy (@MsReeezy) January 20, 2021

Sanders' simple look was photoshopped into the front row of a fashion show, the New York City subway and even under the sorting hat at Hogwarts.

The mittens that made such a splash were handmade by Jen Ellis, a second grade teacher from Vermont, who gave the fleece-lined winter accessories to Sanders in 2016.

"I take wool sweaters that would otherwise be thrown away, cut them up, piece them together -- and I line them with fleece," Ellis told Good Morning America of the recycled materials.

Her eco-friendly wool mittens first made their debut with Sen. Sanders out on the campaign trail five years ago.

Ellis said, "I was just so flattered" when "something that I made in my craft room with the sewing machine my mom gave to me when I was 12 made it to the national stage."

Since the viral meme exploded in popularity, Ellis has received 12,000 inquiries, and while she was honored to represent Vermont on Inauguration Day, she said more mittens are not for sale.

"There were my mittens -- which were a statement too -- a little shout out to Vermont, a shout out to ordinary people who get up every day and might have cold hands and put on a pair of mittens right, that's who we are," Ellis said.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(NEW YORK) -- A wintery blast will hit a large part of the country as a couple of storms cross the nation.

As of Friday morning, 11 states, from California to Minnesota, are on alert for a storm to hit.

The first storm is expected to bring rain and snow to the West Friday -- all the way into Southern California.

A winter weather advisory has been issued for the mountains outside of San Diego, where some areas may see up to 8 inches of snow.

Some much-needed rain is expected in San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego Friday.

By Saturday night into Sunday, the same storm system will move into Central U.S. with snow for the upper Midwest and the Great Lakes, where a winter storm watch has been issued already.

Later on Sunday in the South, a second storm from the Southwest could bring severe thunderstorms with damaging winds and a few tornadoes to Texas and Oklahoma.

That second storm will move east and could bring heavy snow Monday into Tuesday from Chicago to New York City.

This weekend, a foot of snow may fall in the Rockies and up to 7 inches may fall in Minnesota and Iowa.

It is too early to say how much snow the second storm will bring early next week, but some areas could see more than 6 inches of snow from Illinois to New Jersey.

Friday night, ahead of the snowy weather, an Arctic air mass will settle in the Midwest and the Northeast.

Actual temperatures are below zero Friday morning in parts of the upper Midwest. This air mass will move into the Northeast Friday night.

Wind chills are expected to be near zero in western New York, Pennsylvania and into New England Saturday morning, and in the teens along the I-95 corridor.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(MONTGOMERY, Ala.) -- Alabama is grappling with surging deaths as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations remain high and intensive care unit capacity is stretched.

The state reported record numbers of new cases and hospitalizations following the holidays. At one point last week, only 39 ICU beds were available statewide.

This week has already been the deadliest of the pandemic in the state, according to an analysis by The COVID Tracking Project.

"I'm forever an optimist, it's going to get better. But I'm kind of tired of doing death certificates," Dr. Julia Boothe, a rural family medicine physician in Pickens County in western Alabama, told ABC News. "I've done a whole lot over the past few months. I do them in an online system, and unfortunately I have my password memorized because we've just had to do a lot."

The state's seven-day average for new daily COVID-19 cases was 2,666 as of Wednesday, officials said.

"That's far below the spike in cases recorded earlier this month following Christmas, but way above averages recorded two, three, even four months ago," Gov. Kay Ivey said during a press briefing Thursday announcing that the state's mask mandate will be extended through March 5 due to the latest trends.

Alabama has one of the highest COVID-19 hospitalization rates nationwide, according to The COVID Tracking Project, behind only Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and California.

Currently, the state has 4% of its ICU capacity available, down from 6% two weeks ago, according to Johns Hopkins University.

As case numbers and hospitalizations have recently started to decline, ICU capacity and ventilator use hasn't improved at the same rate, Dr. Donald Williamson, president of the Alabama Hospital Association, told ABC News.

"That tells me the people we're hospitalizing now are sicker than they were a week ago, 10 weeks ago," Williamson said. "That's very concerning."

Williamson believes an "aggressive" use of monoclonal antibodies has helped decrease the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state. Though availability of the treatment -- meant for high-risk, non-hospitalized patients with mild to moderate symptoms -- can be limited. Hospitals have been receiving less than half of what they've requested, Williamson said.

Boothe told ABC News it could take up to 12 days for her patients to get scheduled for the treatment. By then, they may already be hospitalized and no longer eligible.

"It's really frustrating," Boothe said. "The thing with COVID is, if you can do something early, you actually can make a difference."

Another concern for Boothe throughout the pandemic has been COVID-19-positive patients delaying seeking treatment.

"Everyone's afraid of going to the hospital," Boothe said. "That's something we traditionally battle in rural areas, maybe a little bit more in Alabama."

Part of that is owed to the "Tuskegee Effect," Boothe said -- a distrust of the health care system among the African American community stemming from an infamous 1930s syphilis study in Tuskegee, Alabama. It's something front-line workers are used to addressing, she said, though the pandemic "complicates things to another level."

Another challenge: Pickens County has been without a hospital throughout the pandemic. The county's only hospital closed in early March, citing financial strain. It was a familiar story; most rural hospitals in the state operate in the red, and six shuttered from 2011 to 2017, according to the Alabama Hospital Association.

On top of that, Pickens County also had several primary care clinics recently close, Boothe said.

"The pressure of all that, with no local hospital backup, has been huge," she said.

Other health care workers are feeling the strain.

"The people who are on the front line who are providing care for these patients, they're tired, they're stretched," Jimmy Stout, director of quality and safety in the University of Alabama at Birmingham's special care unit, told ABC News.

The 12-bed unit, which works to wean patients off ventilator support, is currently full, Stout said, with typically nearly half of patients recovering from COVID-19 at any time.

"We are problem solvers, we're going to keep figuring it out. But it's taxing on your staff," said Boothe, who has had some employees quit during the pandemic. "It's just hard being in health care right now. At the end of the day, it's just hard."

With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warning that the more transmissible U.K. variant could become the predominant coronavirus strain in the U.S. by March, that puts more pressure on vaccinating people, Williamson said.

As of Thursday, Alabama had the lowest rate of administered doses in the country, according to CDC data.

State health officials said they were working to speed up vaccinations after residents complained about the slow rollout.

"People certainly have a right to expect that we can do things faster. I think we can also do things faster," Dr. Scott Harris, the state health officer, said during Thursday's briefing.

County health departments have been instructed to administer doses until they run out and suspend some clinical services to divert staff, Harris said. The state has also finalized a partnership with Walmart to administer the vaccine in its pharmacies and increased the number of providers eligible to receive it. Only a little over half of those 502 providers have actually received any doses due to limited supply, though, he said.

"We simply don't have enough to go around," Harris said.

In the meantime, the governor urged people to continue to take precautions.

"Quite frankly, we've run out of ways to underscore the importance of taking this virus seriously. And ironically, it's not very complicated," Ivey said. "Wear your mask, wash your hands, sanitize places where you are and if you're experiencing symptoms, please go get tested and wait until you received the results before you interact with others."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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