News Wrap: Investigation underway into Pittsburgh bridge collapse that injured 10

In our news wrap Friday, an investigation is underway to determine what caused a Pittsburgh bridge to collapse into a ravine, hours before President Joe Biden visited the city to tout a new infrastructure law. COVID-19 cases have fallen 27 percent in the U.S. over the past two weeks, while the average number of new deaths rose 34 percent. Blizzard warnings are in effect along the U.S. East Coast.

Read the Full Transcript

  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news, an investigation is under way tonight to determine what caused a Pittsburgh bridge to collapse into a ravine Ours before President Biden visited the city to tout the new bipartisan infrastructure law.

    Several vehicles, including a bus, were on the 50-year-old bridge when it caved in early this morning. Pittsburgh's mayor said there were a handful of injuries.

    Ed Gainy, Mayor of Pittsburgh, Pa.: I think 10 have been seen, and they're OK. So, we're just going to continue to hope for the best and make sure that we get this under — get this together.

    Right now, we're still assessing the situation, getting information. But the good thing at this point is that there's no fatalities.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Mr. Biden stopped by the site of the collapse before his speech. He thanked first responders and surveyed the damage from behind a concrete barrier. Later, he vowed to fix the nation's aging infrastructure.

  • President Joe Biden:

    This is the first time in the country's history that we have dedicated a national program to repair and upgrade bridges. And it's about time.

    We're going to rebuild that bridge, along with thousands of other bridges in Pennsylvania and across the country.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The new infrastructure law has earmarked more than $1.5 billion for repairing bridges in Pennsylvania alone.

    On Wall Street, in a turnaround, stocks notched their best day of this new year, after a roller-coaster week of trading. The Dow Jones industrial average soared 564 points to close at 34725. The Nasdaq gained 418 points, and the S&P 500 added 105.

    In other economic news — excuse me — a key measure of inflation — excuse me — a key measure of inflation rose 5.8 percent last year, the steepest increase since 1982. And consumer spending fell more than half a percent in December.

    COVID-19 cases have fallen 27 percent in the U.S. over the past two weeks, while the average number of new deaths rose 34 percent; 10 billion COVID vaccine doses have also now been administered globally. But fewer than one in 10 people in low-income countries have received one.

    Blizzard warnings are in effect along the East Coast of the U.S. tonight, ahead of a major winter storm. Conditions are expected to worsen as the storm moves across the Northeast tomorrow, dumping as much as three feet of snow on parts of New England. Boston is bracing for what could be its worst snowstorm in four years.

    Mayor Michelle Wu urged people to stay home.

    Michelle Wu, Mayor of Boston, Mass.: This has the potential to be a historic storm, a huge one. The National Weather Service has already issued a blizzard warning for Boston. This is likely to be an intense, dangerous storm, with heavy snow, high winds, and whiteout conditions.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The snow is expected to continue through Sunday.

    Meanwhile, a severe tropical storm in Eastern and Southern Africa has killed at least 88 people since it made landfall Monday. It flooded parts of Madagascar, before hitting Mozambique and Malawi, where it destroyed homes and washed away bridges.

    Another storm in the Indian Ocean is expected to strike the same region this weekend.

    More than a third of the people in Ethiopia's war-torn Tigray region are suffering from an extreme lack of food. That is according to a new report from the United Nations World Food Program. The U.N. also said Tigray has not received humanitarian aid since mid-December.

    And on a lighter note, there is a new pet at the White House, a two-year-old farm cat named Willow. She was named after first lady Jill Biden's hometown of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. Willow joins Commander, the first family's German shepherd puppy, introduced in December.

    So, there's something for both dog and cat lovers.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour": Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn discusses the upcoming Winter Games and her new book; David Brooks and Jonathan Capehart weigh in on Justice Breyer's retirement and more; a new TV series explores the cultural ramifications of Bill Cosby's downfall; plus much more.

Listen to this Segment