National News

Myriam Borzee/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 998,000 people worldwide.

Over 33.1 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The criteria for diagnosis -- through clinical means or a lab test -- has varied from country-to-country. Still, the actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks.

Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the virus has rapidly spread to every continent except Antarctica.

The United States is the worst-affected country, with more than 7.1 million diagnosed cases and at least 204,778 deaths.

California has the most cases of any U.S. state, with more than 809,000 people diagnosed, according to Johns Hopkins data. California is followed by Texas and Florida, with over 758,000 cases and over 700,000 cases, respectively.

Nearly 190 vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are being tracked by the World Health Organization, at least nine of which are in crucial phase three trials.

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

Sep 28, 10:41 am
Russia reports over 8,000 new cases for 1st time since mid-July

Russia confirmed 8,135 new cases of COVID-19 over the last 24 hours, the country’s highest single-day increase since mid-July.

An additional 61 coronavirus-related deaths were also recorded in the past day, according to Russia’s coronavirus response headquarters.

Russia’s cumulative total now stands at 1,159,573 confirmed cases and 20,385 deaths.

Almost 27% of the newly confirmed cases -- 2,217 -- were registered in the capital, Moscow.

The daily number of new infections has been on the rise in Russia this month, suggesting the country is entering the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic that is hitting Europe. Unlike other European nations, however, Russia has effectively returned to near-normal life in recent months with few restrictions observed.

Bars, cinemas, nightclubs and restaurants have reopened while social distancing rules exist more or less only on paper. Although face masks are mandatory on public transportation in Moscow and other major cities, few people seem to oblige and police are not enforcing it for now. Still, some shops have been shut down in the capital for failing to observe quarantine rules.

Last week, amid the surge of new cases, Moscow's mayor issued new advice recommending people older than 65 as well as at-risk groups to stay at home. Employers have also been requested to allow as many people as possible to work from home. Meanwhile, Russia's public health watchdog has called on people to congregate less in public places.

Over the weekend, Russia's top medical adviser said the growth in cases was expected as it's primarily the result of colder weather and the start of the traditional flu season.

However, the health system in Saint Petersburg is already showing signs of strain. A long queue of ambulances has appeared outside a COVID-19 hospital in the city, as it did during the height of the country's epidemic in April. Officials said last week that just 6% of the city's hospital beds remain free.

Last month, Russia became the first country in the world to officially register a COVID-19 vaccine and declare it ready for use. The Russian government approved the vaccine before completing its final Phase III trial, eliciting criticism from experts around the globe.

ABC News Alina Lobzina and Patrick Reevell contributed to this report.

Sep 28, 8:19 am
'We're not in a good place,' Fauci warns

The United States is "not in a good place" as some areas report upticks in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious diseases expert.

"As we get into the fall and the winter, you really want the level of community spread to be as low as you possibility get it," Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a key member of the White House coronavirus task force, told ABC News in an interview Monday on Good Morning America.

"There's certainly parts of the country that are doing well," he added. "But ... there are states that are starting to show uptick in cases and even some increases in hospitalizations in some states. And, I hope not but, we very well might start seeing increases in deaths."

"You don't want to be in a position like that as the weather starts getting cold," he warned. "So we really need to intensify the public health measures that we talk about all the time."

When asked about Florida's recent decision to ease restrictions by reopening bars and restaurants, Fauci called it "very concerning."

"That is something that we really need to be careful about, because when you're dealing with community spread and you have the kind of congregate setting where people get together particularly without masks, you're really asking for trouble," he said. "Now's the time actually to double down a bit."

That doesn't mean another shutdown, he noted.

"We're not talking about shutting anything down. We're talking about common sense type of public health measures that we've been talking about all along," he said. "Obviously, if things really explode you'd have to consider that. But we want to do everything we possibly can to avoid an absolute shutdown."

As the global death toll from the coronavirus pandemic edges closer to one million, Fauci warned that the situation is "very serious."

"You got to take it very seriously," he said.

Sep 28, 6:43 am
Bars, restaurants close in Marseille area amid rising infections

Bars and restaurants in the French port city of Marseille and nearby Aix-en-Provence were forced to shut their doors on Sunday night for a week, as part of local measures to stem rising COVID-19 infections.

The situation will be reassessed after seven days, and the closures could be extended another week. The affected businesses are allowed to operate delivery and take-out services in the meantime.

"The virus is still circulating, and our battle continues," French Health Minister Olivier Veran wrote on Twitter Sunday. "I understand the anger at the closure of bars [and] restaurants in Marseille, Aix, and the time limits in other cities. But this decision is neither final nor arbitrary: it limits the spread of the virus [and] avoids the saturation of hospitals."

Bars and restaurant owners in Marseille took to the streets Monday to protest the closures. One protester held a sign that read, "Veran killed me."

France is not the only country seeing a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. Other European nations including Spain and the United Kingdom are also grappling with growing outbreaks.

Sep 28, 7:53 am
Missouri again reports record-high COVID-19 hospitalizations

There were 1,125 patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 across Missouri on Sunday, the highest number the U.S. state has reported since the start of the pandemic.

It was the third straight day that Missouri had logged a record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations. There were 1,068 patients on Friday and 1,101 on Saturday, according to data from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Overall, Missouri has confirmed 123,406 COVID-19 cases with 2,063 deaths. The state's seven-day positivity rate for COVID-19 tests stands at 11.8%, according to the health department.

Sep 28, 5:55 am
US reports nearly 37,000 new cases

There were 36,919 new cases of COVID-19 identified in the United States on Sunday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

Sunday's tally is well below the country’s record set on July 16, when there were 77,255 new cases in a 24-hour-reporting period.

An additional 266 coronavirus-related fatalities were also recorded Sunday, down from a peak of 2,666 new fatalities reported on April 17.

A total of 7,115,338 people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 204,758 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.

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 and crossing 70,000 for the first time in mid-July. The daily tally of new cases has gradually come down since then but has hovered around 40,000 in recent weeks.

An internal memo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency obtained by ABC News on Friday night shows that the number of new cases recorded in the United States is continuing to increase significantly while the number of new deaths is decreasing substantially in week-over-week comparisons.

Sep 28, 4:55 am
India's case count tops six million

India confirmed another 82,170 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, pushing its tally soaring past six million.

An additional 1,039 coronavirus-related fatalities were also recorded. The country's cumulative total now stands at 6,074,703 confirmed cases and 95,542 deaths, according to the latest data from the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

India is only the second country in the world to surpass six million total cases. The vast county of 1.3 billion people has the highest COVID-19 infection rate of anywhere in the world. It's expected to become the pandemic's worst-hit nation within the coming weeks, overtaking the United States, where more than 7.1 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

India also has the highest number of recovered COVID-19 patients in the world, with more than five million people who have survived the disease. The country's recovery rate stands at 82%, according to the health ministry.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(NEW YORK) -- There are 22 large wildfires currently burning in California with dozens more burning from Texas to Washington.

On Sunday, record heat and dry gusty winds helped to spread the fires.

Winds gusted over 50 mph in northern California with record high temperatures of 101 in Napa and 99 in Oakland.

On Monday, critical to extreme fire danger is expected from southern Oregon to the San Francisco Bay area and down to Los Angeles county.

Red Flag Warnings, Heat Advisory, Excessive Heat Watch and Air Quality Alerts have been issued for the West, mostly for California.

Temperatures are forecast to approach 100 degrees once again for most of inland California with temperatures near 90 in major cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Gusty Santa Ana winds will be the most dangerous Monday morning in Southern California.

Temperatures will surpass 100 degrees in Burbank on Tuesday and Wednesday with more record highs possible in the region.

Meanwhile, in the Midwest and parts of the South, a strong cold front is expected to bring a major cold blast from Minnesota to Georgia.

The coldest temperatures of the season are forecast for most of the area this week with the coldest day and night expected by the end of the week Thursday, Friday and into Saturday.

Many areas in the Midwest and central U.S. will see their first frost and freeze of the season.

Ahead of the this strong cold front, very humid, tropical air will move into the Northeast and all along the East Coast.

This tropical air mass will bring a lot of rain to the Northeast this week with some areas getting 2 to as much as 4 inches of rain, with locally higher amounts in southern New England with some flooding possible.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Former Louisville Metro Police Officer Brett Hankison is pictured in a booking photo. (Shelby County Detention Center)By BILL HUTCHINSON and STEPHANIE WASH, ABC News

(LOUISVILLE, Ken.) -- The ballistics report from the Kentucky State Police on the Breonna Taylor shooting could not determine that Taylor's boyfriend shot one of the officers who unleashed a barrage of 32 bullets into her apartment, contradicting statements made by the state attorney general, according to records obtained by ABC News.

In an interview with ABC News, Steve Romines, one of the attorneys for Kenneth Walker, said "the Kentucky State Police's own ballistics report could not determine that Kenny's shot is who hit Officer [Jonathan] Mattingly."

A Jefferson County grand jury decided not to indict Louisville Metro Police Sgt. Mattingly, Officer Myles Cosgrove and former police officer Brett Hankison in the death of Taylor based primarily on the fact that Walker fired the first shot in the fatal confrontation.

Hankison was indicted on three felony counts of wanton endangerment for firing shots into Taylor's apartment that penetrated a wall of the residence of a white family next door to Taylor's apartment. But Cosgrove and Mattingly, who each fired multiple times into Taylor's darkened apartment, were found justified in their use of deadly force because Walker fired the first shot at them when they forced open Taylor's front door to serve a search warrant, according to Kentucky State Attorney General Daniel Cameron.

Walker, 27, a licensed gun owner, was initially charged with attempted murder and assault following the March incident, but those charges were dropped. Walker has since filed a civil lawsuit against the Louisville police department, claiming they never knocked or announced themselves before they forced open Taylor's door.

Walker claimed he fired a warning shot because he initially thought the police officers, who were in plain clothes, were intruders.

Walker's civil suit also raises the possibility that Mattingly was wounded by friendly fire from one of the other officers.

Walker's attorneys filed a court motion on Saturday, asking that the grand jury transcript and the full report on the investigation by the Metro Police's Public Integrity Unit be made public to "promote 'the ends of justice' and the search for the truth." The motion argues the material is important in Walker's freedom from further arrest and prosecution in the shooting.

The motion claims that Walker "was fully justified in his reaction" to the officers barging into Taylor's apartment.

During a news conference following the grand jury's announcement on Wednesday, Cameron was emphatic in his statement that the bullet fired by Walker, who was armed with a licensed 9mm handgun, struck Mattingly.

"Kenneth Walker fired the shot that hit Sgt. Mattingly and there's no evidence to support that Sgt. Mattingly was hit by friendly fire from other officers," Cameron said. "Mr. Walker admitted that he fired one shot and was the first to shoot."

But a portion of the Kentucky State Police ballistic report obtained by ABC News indicates that the one shot fired by Walker "was neither identified nor eliminated as having been fired" from his weapon "due to the limited markings of comparative value."

Cameron, however, said that because Walker fired the first shot, Cosgrove and Mattingly were justified in returning fire to protect themselves.

"This justification bars us from pursuing charges in Ms. Breonna Taylor's death," Cameron said.

The attorney general's office did not immediately reply to ABC News' request for comment on the ballistics report.

Attorneys for Taylor's family have called the grand jury proceedings a "sham" and are demanding that Cameron release the transcript of the entire hearing to see what evidence prosecutors from Cameron's office presented to the panel.

The attorneys allege that prosecutors presented scant evidence, if any, that pertained to Taylor's death, and cited at least 11 witnesses who dispute Cameron's claim that the investigation showed the officers knocked on Taylor's door and announced themselves before using a battering ram to force the door open.

Cameron claimed that statements from the officers that they knocked and announced their presence before entering Taylor's apartment "were corroborated by an independent witness, who was near in proximity to apartment 4," which was Taylor's unit.

But Walker's attorneys say the witness changed his story. They told ABC News that a week after the shooting, the individual, who has not been publicly identified, claimed the officers did not identify themselves as police, yet two months later he said they did. Vice News published an alleged recording of the witness telling an investigator on March 21 that "nobody identified themselves." ABC has not independently verified the audio.

Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman and a certified emergency medical technician, was shot in her apartment around 1 a.m. on March 13 when the officers executed what a judge approved as a "no-knock" warrant based on a sworn affidavit from a detective that an ex-boyfriend of Taylor's was sending packages of drugs to her apartment through the U.S. Postal Service.

No drugs were found in Taylor's apartment and lawyers for Taylor's family allege the warrant was secured with an affidavit that contained lies.

The warrant required the police to verify with postal inspectors that the ex-boyfriend was receiving packages at Taylor's address. But lawyers for Taylor's family say the Louisville Postal Inspector denied that his office inspected packages sent to Taylor's home as part of a drug-trafficking investigation.

Cameron said his office did not investigate how the warrant was obtained. He said federal investigators are probing that aspect of the shooting.

It remains unclear if any evidence was presented to the grand jury about the warrant except that police were at Taylor's apartment to serve one.

Taylor, dressed in her nightclothes, was shot six times by bullets fired by Cosgrove and Mattingly, Cameron said. He said Cosgrove, Mattingly and Hankison fired a total of 32 shots into Taylor's apartment.

Cameron said none of the 10 bullets fired by Hankison, who shot through a sliding glass patio door that had the blinds drawn, hit Taylor.

The attorney general said an FBI ballistics analysis determined that the one fatal shot that hit Taylor came from Cosgrove's 40-caliber weapon.

He said the Kentucky State Police ballistics analysis did not identify which of the three officers fired the fatal shot. That's why the FBI Crime Lab was asked to conduct an analysis to see if it reached the same results.

Cameron said the special prosecutor's unit that investigated the shooting "looked at both reports to determine if there were major differences in the procedures used by each lab that would have led the FBI to identify who fired the fatal shot. Both law enforcement agencies used similar equipment and analysis, but issued different findings."

Cameron would not say if the same duel analysis was conducted to determine where the shot that hit Mattingly came from. He would only say that the officers who fired into Taylor's apartment all had 40-caliber weapons and that Walker's gun was a 9mm pistol.

Fred Moore, another attorney for Walker told ABC News that LMPD records show Hankison had a 9mm and two 40-caliber service weapons. Moore said it's been difficult to determine which weapons Hankison was armed with during the shooting because he disappeared and was unaccompanied for several hours after the incident.

Romines added, "At that point in time, they didn't even know, and still don't know to this day, that Kenny's shot hit Officer Mattingly."

Cameron has declined to answer further questions about the case, saying, "I'm prohibited from making comments that could sway public opinion or heighten public condemnation of those involved in the case."

"As long as the case is making its way through our legal system, I can only speak in general terms about our independent investigation and findings," Cameron said last week. "As the prosecutors, I am prohibited by the Kentucky rules of professional conduct from making public comments that could in any way prejudice this case as it moves forward."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


vmargineanu/iStockBy ALEXANDRA SVOKOS, ABC News

(LOS ANGELES) -- Football great Joe Montana and his wife, Jennifer, faced down a would-be kidnapper at their Malibu home this weekend, saving their 9-month-old grandchild from being taken.

Montana told police an unknown woman entered the residence on Saturday and took his grandchild from a playpen, where the child was sleeping, according to a Los Angeles Sheriff's Department statement.

As the suspect held the child, Joe and Jennifer Montana, "confronted the female, attempted to de-escalate the situation, and asked for the suspect to give back their grandchild," according to the LASD.

"A tussle ensued and Mrs. Montana was able to safely pry the child out of the suspect’s arms," the LASD statement stated.

The suspect then fled, after which the NFL Hall of Famer flagged down deputies patrolling Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station and told them what had happened. After a search, deputies arrested Sodsai Dalzell, a 39-year-old woman, and charged her with kidnapping and burglary. Bail was set at $150,000.

"Thank you to everyone who has reached out. Scary situation, but thankful that everybody is doing well. We appreciate respect for our privacy at this time," Joe Montana said in a tweet Sunday afternoon.

Joe and Jennifer Montana were married in 1985. They have four children.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(NEW YORK) -- At least 28 people were arrested overnight as civil unrest continued in Louisville over a grand jury's controversial decision in the Breonna Taylor case.

Tensions have boiled over in the streets of Kentucky's largest city in the days since a grand jury declined to indict three white police officers in the death of Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman shot in her own apartment in March.

Police began arresting people as soon as a 9 p.m. curfew imposed by Mayor Greg Fischer went into effect Saturday, authorities said.

Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officials said in a Twitter post that just before the curfew started, orders were given over loudspeakers for protesters to clear out of Jefferson Square Park in the downtown area. Officials said the orders to disperse were made when police officers saw people "gathering plywood shields and other items that could be used as weapons" and gleaned from media reports that demonstrators were intending to engage in a standoff with police.

While many protesters left the area, police said a large group sought sanctuary at the First Unitarian Church, several blocks from the park.

Just before midnight, according to police, a small group of people left the church and set pieces of wood police described as "plywood shields" on fire in the street outside the church and began causing destruction in the area.

Many windows at Spalding University, a private Catholic school, and at nearby Presentation Academy, a women's college-preparatory high school, were smashed, police said.

LMPD officials released police helicopter surveillance footage of several people apparently throwing objects through the windows of a car parked on the Spalding University campus, and two people lighting an incendiary device and throwing it inside the car, causing a small explosion and fire.

The FBI field office in Louisville tweeted that it is working with Louisville police to identify the individuals who set the car on fire.

Around 2 a.m., police tweeted that 28 people had been arrested on Saturday night and into Sunday morning.

During protests Wednesday night, two Louisville police officers were wounded in shootings and a suspect was arrested. The suspected gunman, Larynzo Johnson, 26, who is jailed on $1 million bond, was charged with two counts of assault on a police officer and 14 counts of wanton endangerment of a police officer. He has yet to enter a plea.

The protests in Louisville, which have been ongoing for more than 120 days, were refueled on Wednesday when a Jefferson County grand jury announced that none of the police officers involved in the shooting that left Taylor dead in her apartment were indicted for her death.

Only one officer involved in the shooting that killed Taylor was indicted by the grand jury. Brett Hankison, who was fired in June for violating police department policy during the Taylor shooting, was charged with three counts of felony wanton endangerment for firing errant shots into Taylor's apartment that penetrated a wall and went in the residence of a white family.

State Attorney General Daniel Cameron said at a news conference following the grand jury's announcement that Hankison, Officer Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly fired a total of 32 shots into Taylor's apartment while serving a search warrant on March 13.

Cameron claimed the officers opened fire when Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired at them first with a licensed gun hitting Mattingly in the leg when the officers forced open the front door in the early morning hours.

Taylor, dressed in her nightclothes, was shot six times by bullets fired by Cosgrove and Mattingly, Cameron said, adding that an FBI ballistics analysis determined that the one fatal shot came from Cosgrove's 40-caliber weapon. He said that none of the shots fired by Hankison struck Taylor.

Cameron said the investigation showed Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified in their use of force because Walker shot at the officers first and they returned fire to protect themselves.

"This justification bars us from pursuing charges in Ms. Breonna Taylor's death," Cameron said.

Cameron also said the investigation determined that the officers, who had a "no-knock" warrant, knocked first on Taylor's door and announced themselves before ramming the door open. He cited an independent witness who corroborated that scenario.

On Friday, Taylor's family and their attorneys called on Cameron to release the transcripts of the three-day grand jury proceedings, alleging Cameron's office presented scant evidence, if any at all, specific to Taylor's shooting, thereby assuring no charges would be filed in the death of the emergency medical technician. The lawyers also disputed Cameron's claim that the officers knocked and announced themselves before forcing their way into Taylor's apartment, saying a dozen other people at the apartment complex, including Walker, say they did not hear the plainclothes police officers make their presence known before the barrage of gunfire rang out.

The grand jury's announcement followed a $12 million settlement Taylor's family reached earlier this month with the city of Louisville in a wrongful-death lawsuit Tayor's mother, Tamika Palmer, filed in April. The settlement, which lawyers for the Taylor family say is the largest ever paid out for a Black woman killed in an alleged police misconduct case, also includes an agreement from the city to implement major reforms in the police department in hopes of preventing a similar tragedy from occurring.

The FBI is still investigating how the warrant for Taylor's apartment was obtained. Lawyers for Taylor's family alleged the affidavit for the warrant in a drug trafficking investigation targeting Taylor's ex-boyfriend contained lies.

Cameron conceded that his office did not look into the warrant as part of its investigation.

The Department of Justice is also investigating to determine if any civil rights violations occurred in Taylor's shooting, and an LMPD internal probe has been launched to determine if six officers involved in the drug trafficking case that led to Taylor's death violated department policies.

During the news conference in Louisville with Taylor's relatives on Friday, activist Tamika Mallory, who has been leading the protests in Louisville, slammed Cameron, Kentucky's first African American attorney general, as an advocate for the police and traitor of the Black community.

"We are not going home," said Mallory of New York. "We will make sure that this city is as uncomfortable as it can be and we intend to travel across the state of Kentucky and make sure that in every corner of this state they know who you are Daniel Cameron and who is upholding the system of white supremacy that continues to oppress our people."

Mallory added that until the officers involved in Taylor's shooting and the investigation that led to the tragedy are fired from the police department, "I promise you, we will make these streets hot."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(YORBA LINDA, Calif.) -- A California woman has been charged with attempted murder after driving through a group of dueling protesters during a "Caravan for Justice" event Saturday afternoon.

The dueling protests held in Yorba Linda, about 35 miles east of Los Angeles, quickly boiled over into animosity as Black Lives Matter demonstrators clashed with Donald Trump supporters.

"Approximately 30 minutes after the protests began, we began to receive reports of physical altercations occurring between the two protest groups, including at least one individual who was pepper-sprayed by another protestor," the Orange County Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

The crowd grew to about 250 people and due to the violence and "reports of individuals within the crowd having weapons" the sheriff's department declared an unlawful assembly.

It was after a dispersal order was given that a woman, identified as Tatiana Turner, drove through a group of protesters, many waving Trump flags, outside the Yorba Linda Public Library at about 3 p.m. local time. Two people, a man and a woman, were hit by the car, with both suffering "major injuries." Both are expected to survive, officials said.

Orange County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Dennis Breckner told Los Angeles ABC station KABC the woman struck by the vehicle broke both her legs.

The white sedan was pursued by dozens of protesters who smashed several of the car's windows before she was detained by law enforcement. Dozens of deputies were on hand for the two protests, which had been scheduled for weeks.

Turner, 40, of Long Beach, was charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon and was booked into Orange County Jail.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department identified Turner as a member of the "Caravan for Justice" event.

Another person at the event, Jason Mancuso, 46, was arrested on charges of failure to obey the dispersal order, the sheriff's office said.

The incident Saturday came two days after a person was hit by a pickup truck at a protest in Hollywood. Protesters surrounded the truck Thursday night after which it tried to get away from the situation and hit a person in the street, the Los Angeles Police Department said. The person was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

In another accident at the same event, two vehicles crashed into one another when a truck involved in the protests tried to block in a white Toyota Prius. The Prius backed into a Mustang as it tried to escape the situation, police said.

No one has been arrested in either incident Thursday and the investigation was ongoing.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(NEW YORK) -- This report is part of "Turning Point," a groundbreaking month-long series by ABC News examining the racial reckoning sweeping the United States and exploring whether it can lead to lasting reconciliation.

In the early 20th century, Richard Givens, a Black man, toiled as a laborer in a box mill in Greensville County, Virginia.

He earned $300 for the entire year in 1939, according to U.S. Census records, an income Givens had to use to support a family of eight.

That seemingly paltry sum (worth only approximately $5,500 today) was even anemic for the time -- less than the median salary for non-white men ($460) and about a quarter of what white men made at the time ($1,112), according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.

That economic cap for Givens, like many of his Black contemporaries, existed 75 years after the end of slavery and persists today. Many say that the existence of that gap has been perpetuated by systemic racism in America -- a combination of laws and institutions that perpetuate inequality -- and necessitates reparations to address those wrongs.

Since the end of slavery, Black Americans have been in a fervent and mostly futile race to catch up economically to their white counterparts. The Black-white wealth gap has been and remains vast -- the net worth of the average white family is 10 times greater than the average Black family, according to a 2016 report from the Brookings Institute.

Moreover, median wealth of Black families remains less than 1/10 of white families in 2020, the Senate Joint Economic Committee found in its report, The Economic State of Black America in 2020.

For over 200 years, colonial America and then the U.S. was a slave state, then, an apartheid state -- with Jim Crow laws in the South and actively racist practices such as redlining -- financial institutions denying mortgages to people of color, or providing mortgages to them only in limited areas usually with homes and properties of low value.

Advocates and experts argue that ongoing systemic racism has placed Black Americans at a disadvantage in everything from obtaining an education to being paid fair wages, purchasing homes, starting businesses and passing down generational wealth -- all components needed to achieve robust economic health.

Some advocates and experts say reparations are the answer. They would not only help eliminate wealth differences caused by systemic racism, but are also "a form of compensation that would amount to healing," William "Sandy" Darity, an economist and professor at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy told ABC News.

The topic is controversial. While arguments have been made that reparations to Black descendants of enslaved people could help restore economic balance in the nation, there is the outstanding question of how much should be paid out and to whom.

So what exactly is owed? That depends on which economic expert you ask.

Calculating reparations

Darity and co-author Andrea Kirsten Mullen have a new book, "From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century," that analyzes past estimates for reparation amounts and offers new ones.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign economist Larry Neal estimated in 1983 that America owed $1.4 trillion in reparations for Black descendants of enslaved people. Neal based this figure on the amount of wages earned by non-enslaved workers between 1620 and 1840, subtracting costs related to the care of slaves (food, housing, care, etc.).

According to Darity and Mullen, that 1983 figure compounded at 4%, 5% and 6% interest by 2019, would be $5.7 trillion, $8.1 trillion and $11.4 trillion, respectively, as per their calculations.

They also suggest there was a major flaw with Neal's calculation: it doesn't take into account the 20 years before the Civil War.

Roger Ransom, a former economics professor at the University of Virginia and the University of California, and Richard Sutch, who was a professor emeritus of economics at the University of California, before his death in 2019, based their calculation on the profit from slavery between 1806 and 1860. Their method, compounded at interest rates of 4%, 5% and 6% in 2018, would amount to $14 billion, $19.7 billion, and $27.7 billion, Darity and Mullen figured. But they also cited flaws with Ransom and Sutch's methodology. They argue that the calculation doesn't account for the first 30 years of slavery in the country, it omits profit from the slave trade, and charges the enslaved for their own maintenance costs, resulting in "the lowest bill for black reparations among those we examine," Darity and Mullen write in their book.

One of the more complex calculations is by Thomas Craemer, a professor of public policy at the University of Connecticut. He multiplied the "prevailing market wage" by the number of hours enslaved people worked (assuming a 24-hour work day) between the years 1776 and 1865. That model, calculated for 2019 at 4%, 5% and 6% interest rates, works out to $16.4 trillion, $17 trillion and $17.7 trillion, respectively.

The problem with Craemer's calculation, according to Darity and Mullen, is that it relies on "the market wage for non-slave labor" rather than "the hypothetical non-slave labor wage that would have prevailed in the absence of captive enslaved Africans." This yields a slightly lower calculation as per Darity and Mullen.

Therefore, Darity and Mullen came up with their own calculation based on net worth. They cite the gap in mean household wealth by race, which was $795,000, according to the 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances.

"If the average black household consists of 3.31 persons," Darity and Mullen write in their book, "the mean shortfall in wealth for individual black Americans would have been approximately $240,000."

Next, they multiplied $795,000 by the U.S. Census Bureau's estimate of 10 million Black households, arriving at a reparations bill of $7.95 trillion.

They also offer an alternative calculation. The Black population comprises about 13% of the American population. The nation's total household wealth reached $107 trillion by the second quarter of 2018. Thirteen percent of that amount is $13.91 trillion. As Black Americans are estimated to hold at most, 3% of the nation's wealth, according to Census data, that amounts to $3.21 trillion.

Eliminating the difference in household wealth, "would require a reparations outlay of $10.7 trillion" or, $267,000 per person for the 40 million eligible Black descendants of slavery, Darity and Mullen write.

Eligibility, Darity said, can be established through genealogical research to find out if one's ancestors were held as chattel, a task some say is impractical, including Congressman Jim Clyburn, one of the highest-ranking House Democrats who said in an interview that he feared reparations "would lead to contested debates about who would be eligible due to the sprawling family trees that have evolved in the generations since slavery was abolished."

Critics of reparations have also argued that the conversation leaves an entire group of people, Black American-born descendants of immigrants, some of whose families have been in the U.S. for generations -- and many whose families may have survived decades if not centuries of institutional racism -- excluded.

Federal government reparations

As the nation grapples with allegations of systemic racism, the ongoing wealth gap and other persistent and mounting inequities between Black and white Americans -- including disparate health outcomes and police brutality -- academics and activists say the federal government needs to face a reckoning for its culpability in these ongoing issues.

"You often hear individuals say, I didn't own any slaves, and to them I always say, 'Well, you may not have but the federal government permitted it and endorsed it, facilitated it,'" Andre Perry, an economist and fellow at the Brookings Institution, told ABC News. "Therefore, the federal government has a responsibility of paying that back."

"The policies that facilitated slavery were at fault," Perry added. "The damage was caused by policy failure. Policies should drive the remedy."

Looking abroad, despite many of the individual perpetrators of the Holocaust being long gone, Germany has paid out billions of dollars to survivors, their families and eligible heirs.

Perry also noted that there are historical precedents for the U.S. federal government compensating victims of its past mistakes, and so-called "reparations" have happened before, just not for Black Americans.

Through the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, the government admitted to a litany of wrongdoings in its internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. As part of a reparations package, the government paid $20,000 to every living survivor of the internment camps and issued an apology that acknowledged a "grave injustice" that was "motivated largely by racial prejudice, wartime hysteria, and a failure of political leadership." In total, $1.6 billion was paid out to more than 82,250 eligible claimants. Adjusted for inflation, that figure would top $3.5 billion in 2020.

Nkechi Taifa, a lawyer and reparations advocate with the National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC), told ABC News that when that bill was passed, "it came from taxpayer dollars."

"I had nothing to do with the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II," she said. "But my tax dollars helped to pay for that reparations settlement."

Taifa also noted a much darker historical precedent, referencing 1860s legislation that paid reparations to slave owners for their so-called loss of "property."

"Reparations were paid out after the Civil War, they just weren't paid to Black people," Taifa said. "They weren't paid to the formerly enslaved people. They weren't paid to the victims, they were paid to the slave owners for the loss of their property."

President Abraham Lincoln's emancipation bill in 1862 provided payment to slave owners up to $300 for each enslaved person who was freed. Adjusted for inflation, that figure would be approximately $8,000.

There has been a history of pushback for reparations at the federal level.

Black Republicans like Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina are not in favor of reparations, but instead, favor policies like opportunity zones. On his website, Scott claims opportunity zones are incentives that aim to "lift entire communities out of poverty by attracting private dollars to the corners of our country that have been left behind as the American economy has surged forward."

Black Democrats have also been skeptical of reparations including Rep. Clyburn, who said in an interview with the Post and Courier, that reparations would be "difficult to implement."

And some have argued that social programs like Medicaid, Social Security and other welfare benefits are a form of reparations, while not specifically targeted at Black people, write Darity and Mullen in their book.

Taifa called all the arguments for why the federal government shouldn't pay reparations now, because of cost, logistical difficulties or the amount of time that has passed: "hogwash."

"I say that because whose fault is it that this much time has passed that has not been addressed?" she said. "The demand for reparations has been going on ever since the enslavement era."

Perry added that historically in the U.S, "when there's white suffering, we find the money."

"We will sell debt, we will do a number of things to find the revenue," he added.

Taifa cited how Congress rallied some $2 trillion extremely quickly in the CARES Act to respond to the COVID-19 crisis as an example of how lawmakers are able to find the money when they need to.

At the local level, one city has found a creative way of raising reparations funds. Evanston, Illinois said earlier this year that it plans to use the $10 million collected by the city in legal marijuana sales to provide Black residents with housing and economic development benefits.

Ultimately, Perry said he doesn't think the issue is a matter of where the money will come from, but rather, "it's about political will."

"We shouldn't prohibit policy simply because it's hard to implement," he said. "They said the same thing about integration, about women's rights -- that it's too hard, that the culture won't allow it, that the blowback will be too severe."

"Resistance is more about ignorance," he said. "Not about facts."

Darity and Mullen in their book state, "The invoice [for reparations] should go directly to the U.S. Congress."

"The culpable party," Darity said bluntly, "is the United States government."

Darity and Mullen also propose in their book several ways the federal government could fund reparations without imposing new taxes. One way, they discuss is by funding through deficit spending.

Deficit spending -- defined as the government spending more than it collects -- Darity and Mullen write, would require no change in tax rates, and if reparations provide a stimulus, could actually generate a tax revenue to fund the program.

They also suggest that the Federal Reserve could fund reparations in much the same way it funded investment banks during the Great Recession.

Because of the bailout by the Federal Reserve, Darity and Mullen make the argument that "there can be no doubt that the Fed has vast capacity to provide the funds required for a properly designed and financed reparations program."

Private sector

Meanwhile, as increasing evidence emerges of private sector culpability or complacency in the slave trade, many are also calling on these entities which still exist today to pay reparations.

A slew of banks, life insurance companies and even universities have been thrust into the spotlight recently after evidence emerged they were involved in the slave trade.

Georgetown University admitted in recent years to selling 272 slaves in 1838 to pay off debts and ultimately keep the school open. In 2019, the private university announced the creation of a fund it said could generate $400,000 a year in scholarships to benefit the descendants of these people.

Taifa said she has been fighting for entities that "were culpable and benefited unjustly" from the slave trade era to "come up with a settlement or negotiation."

Earlier this year, the nation's wealthiest Black man, billionaire Robert Smith called on companies that profited off the slave trade to consider paying reparations.

"I think corporations have to also think about, well, what is the right thing to do?" he told Reuters.

What should 'reparations' look like?

Proposals for what reparations should look like vary widely. Many advocates are calling for direct payments, others are arguing for tax cuts, and some say they should come in the form of investments in Black communities, scholarship funds or other collective investments.

The HR 40 bill that was introduced in the House last year by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Tex., calls for the creation of a commission to study and develop reparation proposals. Senator Cory Booker, D-NJ, introduced a partner bill in the Senate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly expressed her support for the bill during at an event at Howard University last year. The late Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., first proposed the bill that would become H.R. 40 in 1989.

Despite support expressed from some high-profile members of Congress, the legislation tracking site assigned it a 4% chance of being enacted in 2019, citing methodology by AI researchers and data engineers at the firm Scopos. This was calculated, however, before the police killing of George Floyd set in motion a new racial reckoning in the U.S.

The progressive political organization Democracy in Color said in a July 2020 poll conducted through the online platform Civiqs that 50% of Americans support H.R. 40, an uptick from 2019 when only 31% said they supported it.

Taifa said "beyond anything else it absolutely and completely, any and every reparation settlement must include an official apology."

She said she is fighting for monetary reparations but thinks that efforts should go beyond just payments, such as pardons for Black people who were disproportionately targeted during the problem-plagued "War on Drugs," educational scholarships, investments in Black community development and more.

"Our reparation settlement should be creative," she said. "The harm was multifaceted and the relief should be as well."

Perry added that as an economist he thinks the "most prominent form of reparations should come in the form of a check."

"This is about a debt that is owed," he said. "This about compensating for labor and damage, so it should come into the form of a check" to descendants of enslaved people.

In their book, Darity and Mullen also suggest direct payments and said they could be disbursed over time. They also suggest "a portfolio of reparations" which could be trust funds available for eligible Black Americans to apply for grants for homeownership, education, establishing businesses or purchasing financial assets.

Some localities are also "trying to figure out ways how they can create policies that address the policy violence inflicted on Black Americans over the over the course of centuries," Perry said.

"So, it might come in the form of investments in Black communities, new zoning practices, educational scholarships, business loans," he said.

Most importantly, to Taifa, reparations can "go a long way toward the racial healing that we need, the closing of a shameful chapter in this history and also the allowance for the victims themselves, those parties, to decide just what they want."

"When I say 'they,' I'm talking about we, Black people, really want as a future here, a political future, economic future, a cultural future in the light," Taifa added.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(LOS ANGELES) -- A Los Angeles Police Department Harbor Division veteran with more than 30 years of experience is recovering in the hospital this morning after a violent encounter with man inside the police station late Saturday night.

The incident happened shortly before 10 p.m. at the Harbor Station in San Pedro, California, when, an individual described as a Hispanic male who was approximately 29-years-old walked into the station and the officer went to meet him in the lobby area. An altercation then allegedly began after a brief discussion and, according to the Los Angeles Police Department, the officer's weapon was taken from him and rounds were fired by the individual at the officer.

"Fortunately, the officer was not struck by those rounds," Police Chief Michel Moore said during a press conference.

The suspect then fled the station after the incident in a white pickup truck when a short pursuit occurred. It was when the suspect was being apprehended that another brief altercation ensued and that officer was injured in the confrontation.

According to the LAPD, the arresting officer may have injuries similar to being pistol whipped. The officer is now resting comfortably at a local area hospital.

The suspect was taken into custody. A gun was recovered from the scene which belonged to the desk officer who was assaulted at the police station. The suspect also sustained injuries and was taken to the hospital. He will subsequently be released and booked on appropriate charges.

"I am grateful that the officer who was in this incident tonight, who was working the desk, came out to assist this individual to understand what his needs were, that he survived," Chief Moore said.

Chief Moore said the officer is "resting" and is "comfortable" after suffering several injuries consistent with being "pistol-whipped or assaulted."

Early reports indicating that the desk officer suffered a gunshot wound which were incorrect.

More information is expected to be released later today as the investigation remains ongoing.

"The officer involved in this incident was transported to a local hospital and is receiving medical attention for non-life-threatening injuries," the Los Angeles Police Department tweeted in a statement on social media. "The suspect involved in this incident is in custody. This is preliminary information, as this is an active and ongoing investigation."

"Sending my best wishes for a quick and full recovery to our @LAPDHQ officer injured in an incident at the Harbor Station tonight," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted .The officer is in stable condition and we're closely monitoring the situation."

The officer involved in the incident has yet to be identified and additional information about the shooting incident was not immediately released.

The shooting comes after two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were shot in an apparent ambush earlier this month while sitting in a patrol car parked near a metro stop in Compton, California.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(NEW YORK) -- The weather pattern is beginning to turn more conducive for fire development across parts of the Western U.S. once again.

High pressure building over the region will cause temperatures to rise and dry gusty winds to develop over parts of the region, especially California.

There are fire weather watches and red flag warnings issued for parts of California, Utah and New Mexico due to the increasing dry and windy conditions.

Temperatures today will be in the 90s across interior California and near 100 in parts of Southern California and temperatures should continue to rise across the region over the next several days.

Today, the most critical fire danger will be parts of northern California as well as Southern California, in particular the mountains north of Los Angeles, as the Santa Ana wind event begins.

Tomorrow the same regions will be in critical fire danger with the danger expanding all the way to the mountains outside of San Diego with wind gusts to 45 mph with relative humidity as low as 7% will be possible as the Santa Ana winds will peak tomorrow.

Fire weather conditions will remain elevated through the much of the rest of the week, though the Santa Ana winds are expected to gradually subside.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the nation, a strong cold front will move through from the Midwest to the East Coast on Monday and Tuesday.

There is increasing potential for widespread heavy rain, possibly capable of producing flash flooding on Tuesday along the East Coast of the U.S., including some of the major metro areas.

Preliminary forecasting shows the potential for over two inches of rain from the Carolinas to New England.

Behind the cold front, much cooler air will sink into the U.S. and by Friday morning widespread wind chills will dominate parts of the central U.S.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Lawyer Ben Crump speaks at a press conference with Breonna Taylor's family on Sept. 25, 2020. - (ABC News)By EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News

(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) -- Breonna Taylor's family and boyfriend are demanding the release of grand jury proceeding transcripts after a Kentucky grand jury indicted one officer for endangering Taylor's neighbors during the police shooting that resulted in her death.

Taylor's family is "heartbroken, devastated and outraged and confused," family attorney Ben Crump said at a news conference Friday.

"There seems to be two justice systems in America -- one for Black America and one for white America," he said.

Crump went on, "What did Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron present to the grand jury? Did he present any evidence on Breonna Taylor's behalf? Or did he make a unilateral decision to put his thumb on the scales of justice to help try to exonerate and justify the killing of Breonna Taylor by these police officers? And in doing so, make sure that Breonna Taylor's family never got their day in court."

Family attorney Lonita Baker demanded a special prosecutor be appointed to present to a grand jury on Taylor's behalf.

Brett Hankison, an officer who has since been fired from the Louisville Metro Police Department, was indicted Wednesday on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for firing into the apartment directly behind Taylor's.

The neighboring apartment had three people inside, thus the three charges against Hankison, said Cameron. The other officers involved in Taylor's death were not charged.

"Release the transcript so we can have transparency," Crump said. "And if you did everything you could do on Breonna's behalf, you shouldn't have any problems whatsoever, Daniel Cameron, to release the transcript to see you fought for all of Kentucky's citizens."

Taylor, 26, was shot dead by police while in her Louisville home on March 13. Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were asleep when three Louisville police officers, including Hankison, tried to execute a "no-knock" search warrant.

The officers were investigating a suspected drug operation linked to Taylor's ex-boyfriend. No drugs were found in the apartment.

Walker contends he asked the officers to identify themselves as they tried to break open the door, but got no response, which prompted him to open fire with his licensed gun. Earlier this month, he filed a lawsuit against the city of Louisville, its police and others, for immunity against his actions that night under Kentucky's "stand your ground" law.

Walker's attorneys are also pushing for the release of the grand jury transcripts. On Saturday, they filed a motion in his lawsuit asking for access to the grand jury transcript and recordings to "promote 'the ends of justice' and the search for the truth." The motion is also asking for all materials gathered by the police department's public integrity unit pertaining to the incident.

Mattingly was shot in the leg, according to Cameron.

Cameron said no shots from Hankison struck Taylor.

Hankison was fired and the other officers involved were placed on administrative duty.

After the grand jury decision, Cameron said at a news conference Wednesday, "According to Kentucky law, the use of force by Mattingly and Cosgrove was justified to protect themselves. This justification bars us from pursuing criminal charges in Ms. Breonna Taylor's death."

"The truth is now before us. The facts have been examined, and a grand jury comprised of our peers and fellow citizens has made a decision," Cameron said. "Justice is not often easy. Our team conducted interviews in this case, and spent thousands of hours examining all of the available evidence."

Federal prosecutors are looking into potential civil rights charges.

On Friday, Crump said the decision in Taylor's case follows a pattern "of the blatant disrespect and marginalization of Black people but especially Black women in America who have been killed by police."

Taylor's aunt, Bianca Austin, wore Taylor's EMT jacket at the news conference and read a statement on behalf of her sister and Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer.

"This has been emotionally, mentally and physically draining for my sister," Austin said.

Palmer, in her statement, said Cameron "had the power to do the right thing. He had the power to start the healing of this city."

Cameron "helped me realize ... it will always be us against them," Palmer continued. "That we are never safe when it comes to them." She said she has "no faith in the legal system, in the police, in the laws that are not made to protect us Black and brown people."

Palmer said Cameron "alone didn't fail her," and that her daughter was also failed by "the judge who signed the search warrant ... the terrorist who broke down her door ... [and] the system as a whole."

"You didn't just rob me and my family, you robbed the world of a queen ... a queen who was starting to pave her path," Palmer's statement said.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


BlakeDavidTaylor/iStockBy MEREDITH DELISO, ABC News

(BUFFALO, N.Y.) -- Police arrested a 25-year-old woman in a hit-and-run incident during demonstrations in Buffalo earlier this week over a Kentucky grand jury's decision not to charge three police officers in the death of Breonna Taylor.

The Buffalo Police Department said it charged Joanna Gollnau, 25, of Buffalo, on Friday with felony reckless endangerment in the first degree and reckless driving for allegedly striking a bicyclist with her pickup truck during a protest in Niagara Square on Wednesday night.

The incident in Buffalo unfolded as protesters marched in the street near Niagara Square in the downtown area in the hours following the announcement of the grand jury's decision in the fatal Louisville police shooting of Taylor.

Graphic video taken by ABC affiliate station WKBW-TV in Buffalo showed a maroon and white king-cab pickup truck drive directly into a group of demonstrators who pounded on the side of the truck and yelled for the driver to stop just before a protester on a bicycle was hit. The footage shows the truck speeding away as protesters on foot gave chase.

Buffalo police officials said the driver was eventually stopped by officers and detained for questioning.

A spokesperson for Slow Roll Buffalo, a nonprofit community group of bicycle enthusiasts, said that the woman who was hit by the truck is a member of its board of directors. She is now home and feeling fine, the organization said on Friday.

Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo told WKBW that the department used video footage, including social media posts and city surveillance cameras, in its investigation. He told the station he was unsure of a motive, and that Gollnau has been cooperating with police. She is set to be arraigned on Nov. 3, according to WKBW.

A similar incident unfolded in Denver Wednesday night. Video taken by ABC affiliate station KMGH-TV in Denver showed a silver Volvo station wagon approach demonstrators marching in the street outside the state Capitol Building and then stopped. Several protesters were standing in front of the vehicle and banging on its hood as the car moved forward and accelerated, knocking one female protester to the ground, the footage showed. The driver sped away but was stopped by police and detained, police said on Twitter.

The two incidents came just hours after a Kentucky grand jury indicted former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison on three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree in the shooting that killed Taylor, but neither he nor the other two officers involved in the fatal encounter were charged in her death.

The two hit-and-runs on Wednesday marked the latest in a series of incidents in recent months in which protesters have been struck while marching in demonstrations against police brutality and racial injustice. On July 4, a protester was killed and another was injured when a car barreled into a Black Lives Matter protest on a closed freeway in Seattle.

ABC News' Bill Hutchinson contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Rattankun Thongbun/iStockBy MEREDITH DELISO, ABC News

(LOS ANGELES) -- Some areas of the country are beginning to see an uptick in COVID-19 cases that may be due to Labor Day weekend gatherings, officials said.

California is seeing "the trends and impacts of Labor Day," Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary for California's health department, said Friday during a COVID-19 briefing.

"It's been 2 1/2 weeks since Labor Day," Ghaly said. "We're starting to see what we think is attributable to Labor Day."

In particular, case rates, COVID-19-related emergency department visits and new COVID-19 hospitalizations are all showing an uptick and are "areas of concern," Ghaly said.

The health department predicts that there will be an increase in hospitalizations over the next month, going from 2,578 as of Friday to 4,864 by Oct. 25. Flu season adds a new layer of concern in this area, Ghaly said.

"We've never done COVID hospitalizations with flu hospitalizations," he said. "It's really about not letting our guard down as we did earlier in the summer."

The increases also come 3 1/2 weeks since the state started its new reopening plan and five weeks after the fire season began, Ghaly noted, both of which could also be contributing factors.

In Oregon, COVID-19 cases are rising after weeks of steady decline, in part due to Labor Day gatherings, as well as the state's recent wildfires and college students returning to school, according to the Oregon Health Authority. The state reported its single highest number of new COVID-19 cases on Friday, with 457.

Regions of Nebraska and Tennessee have also seen case upticks and outbreaks tied to Labor Day weekend gatherings, according to an internal Federal Emergency Management Agency memo obtained by ABC News Friday night.

In Saunders County, Nebraska, rising cases have been linked to a "large gathering" over the holiday weekend, the memo said, while outbreaks in the southwestern part of the state have also been tied to Labor Day as the "epidemic continues to grow" in Nebraska.

Putnam County in middle Tennessee saw a 157% increase in cases in the past week compared to the previous week, with officials attributing the rise to Labor Day gatherings, as well as nursing facilities and schools, the memo said.

Daily new cases were up about 50% in Washoe County, Nevada, officials said this week, blaming in part Labor Day gatherings. There were nearly 88 new cases per day, compared to the mid-50s last week, District Health Officer Kevin Dick said on Wednesday during the county's weekly COVID-19 update.

"The seven-day rolling average that we have of new cases over the past week has increased significantly," Dick said. "We attribute a number of these cases to people that participated in private gatherings over the Labor Day holiday that are now testing positive for COVID-19."

He also pointed to cases in students at the University of Nevada, Reno, who attended off-campus parties.

"That is of concern," Dick said of the increase in cases. "There is a lot of COVID-19 in the community."

Some areas of the country are cautiously optimistic that they have not seen a Labor Day weekend surge in cases, including Alabama and Charlotte, North Carolina, according to reports. Though health experts warn that increases two weeks after major holidays are "very predictable."

"We saw that with Memorial Day and we saw that with July 4," ABC News Contributor Dr. John Brownstein, chief innovation officer for the Boston Children's Hospital and a professor of epidemiology at Harvard Medical School, said earlier this month.
On May 25, Memorial Day, the national seven-day average of new cases was 21,955. Five weeks later, on June 29, the seven-day average jumped to 40,178, an 83% increase in new cases, according to an ABC analysis of data compiled by the COVID Tracking Project.

A similar pattern occurred just over a month later following the Fourth of July weekend. Just two weeks after July 4, the U.S. hit a record high of 76,842 daily cases, and by July 23, current hospitalizations hit a near-record high of 59,718, according to the COVID Tracking Project data.

Death metrics, which tend to lag behind other COVID-19 data, increased in the weeks following the early summer holidays. On July 4, the seven-day average of deaths stood at 500; on Aug. 12, approximately five weeks after the holiday, there were the most reported COVID-19 deaths this summer, with 1,519, the ABC News analysis found.

ABC News' Josh Margolin and Arielle Mitropoulos contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


pGiam/iStockBy ABC News

(LAKE JACKSON, Texas) -- After Texas authorities sent an urgent message about brain-eating amoeba found in a southeast county water's supply, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality lifted a "Do Not Use" water advisory for all areas except one, Lake Jackson.

On Friday, TCEQ posted on social media that it was informed of the potential of Naegleria fowleri in the Brazosport Water Authority's water supply.

A "Do Not Use" water advisory was issued for Lake Jackson, Freeport, Angleton, Brazoria, Richwood, Oyster Creek, Clute, Rosenberg, Dow Chemical, TDCJ Clemens & TDCJ Wayne Scott, according to the commission's social media post.

"After extensive conversations with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality as well as ensuring that Brazosport Water Authority has an adequate disinfectant residual, a determination has been made that there is no safety issue for BWA's distribution system," according to a statement from TCEQ on Saturday.

"Lake Jackson residents are still urged to follow the Do not Use Water Advisory until the water system has been adequately flushed and samples indicate that the water is safe to use. It is not known at this time how long this make take," the statement continued.

TCEQ advised residents who remain under the advisory not to drink or bathe in tap water, although flushing toilets is OK.

Naegleria folweri is a parasite that typically infects people swimming in lakes and rivers, travelling through the nose and into the brain, according to ABC News medical contributor, Dr. Laith Alexander.

"Naegleria likes fresh water -- lakes and ponds. Infection is even rarer than Vibrio, but the stakes are even higher," Dr. Todd Ellerin, director of infectious disease at South Shore Health in South Weymouth, Massachusetts, told ABC News, told ABC News.

"It travels up the nose and through the cribriform plate – a little sieve separating the nasal cavity and the brain," Dr. Ellerin said. "When it reaches the brain, it causes Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis, or PAM for short, with seizures, headaches, personality changes and confusion. Most people with PAM have died – and unfortunately two-thirds of the cases are in otherwise healthy children."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "In very rare instances, Naegleria infections may also occur when contaminated water from other sources (such as inadequately chlorinated swimming pool water or heated and contaminated tap water) enters the nose. You cannot get infected from swallowing water contaminated with Naegleria."

The Brazosport water system had seven violations from TCEQ in 2014 and 2015 related to monitoring, one violation in 2003 for a concentration of disinfectant, according to ABC News Houston affiliate KTRK. All violations were resolved and the water system has received several awards since from TCEQ for innovation, operations, compliance and more.

ABC News' medical contributor Dr. Laith Alexander and Lauren M. Botchan contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



kali9/iStockBy EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News

(ROCHESTER, N.Y.) -- Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan has been appointed Rochester's new interim police chief -- the first woman to hold the position -- amid criticism over the handling of the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died in March after he was seen being pinned to the ground by Rochester police officers.

Police Chief La'Ron Singletary was fired in the wake of Prude's death.

"Traditional policing practices must be altered and improved to better serve and protect our citizens," Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said at a news conference Saturday.

Herriott-Sullivan brings a "fresh approach to policing" and is "uniquely qualified to deal with the many current issues that the city of Rochester is facing," Warren said.

Herriott-Sullivan, a Rochester native, left the Rochester Police Department in 2009, after about 24 years of service.

"Interestingly, I left law enforcement because I wanted to have a bigger hand in helping people stay out of jail, rather than putting in that," she said at the news conference. "So I moved on to roles helping deal with criminal justice disparities."

Herriott-Sullivan's new role begins on Oct. 14.

Prude, 41, died one week after being restrained by Rochester police during a mental health emergency. Officers put a spit bag on his head and pinned him to the ground.

The Monroe County medical examiner listed his death as a homicide caused by "complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint."

Seven officers who were at the scene were suspended without pay.

Prude's family released video from officers' body cameras and accused the department of covering it up.

New York Attorney General Letitia James said she was "outraged" after viewing the video and that she stood in solidarity with the Rochester community in their calls for change.

On Sept. 5, James said she would empanel a grand jury to investigate Prude's death.

Then on Sunday James announced reforms for releasing police-worn body camera footage in response to the handling of Prude's death. With the new policy, body camera footage will be released earlier in the investigation process, as soon as jurisdiction has been established and the family has had a chance to see the video.

Last week, an independent investigation into the handling of the case moved forward when the Rochester City Council authorized the power to subpoena several city departments, including the mayor's office and the Rochester Police Department.

An attorney leading the investigation said the team will collect sworn testimony from witnesses, emails, text messages, memos and other documents to try to determine a timeline of events, examine how city departments communicated with each other behind closed doors, and what city officials said publicly, versus what they knew at the time.

ABC News' Meredith Deliso, Julia Jacobo and Jason Volack contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



A major weather pattern change is in sight for the next few days in much of the U.S., including the return of dangerous fire weather conditions in parts of the West as well as a heat wave in the Southwest.

Already Saturday morning, there are wind advisories, fire weather watches, red flag warnings and air quality alerts issued for parts of the western U.S., including already hard-hit areas in California and Oregon.

Although fires can spark at any point in the West due to dry conditions, the greatest fire danger Saturday will be located across parts of Montana, South Dakota and northern Wyoming. The reason for this enhanced area of fire danger is primarily due to gusty winds.

On Sunday and Monday, a high pressure will build in the western U.S., which will bring a rise in temperatures, as well as gusty offshore winds. Critical fire danger is expected in parts of bother northern and southern California, including parts of the Los Angeles and Santa Barbara metro areas.

This is now typically the time of the year where we see high-pressure systems try to build in the West, but subsequently, colder air is trying to spill into other parts of the U.S. This results in periods favorable for Santa Anta winds

Temperatures are expected to rise over the next few days along the West Coast, with temperatures approaching 100 degrees in parts of California by Monday and Tuesday.

Subsequently, the colder air on the opposite side of the jet stream in the central U.S. will cause quite a temperature drop. Temperatures are likely to drop 10-20 degrees by the middle of the week, with the cooler air starting to make its way down to the southern US.

Peaking ahead to the end of the upcoming week, wind chills will likely be in the 30s and 40s across much of the central and even southern parts of the U.S. Some parts of the upper Midwest will almost certainly have wind chill values in the 20s as well.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Listen Live




On Air Now
Best Country Hits
Best Country Hits
10:00am - 3:00pm
Midday Show
Country Videos