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Mystery of Polio-Like Illness; "People" Bans Unauthorized Celebrity Kid Pics; Ted Ligety Live!

Aired February 26, 2014 - 08:30   ET


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Number one, temperatures are plummeting in the east. Two-thirds of the nation, they'll be 20 to 30 degrees below normal all week. Snow is expected in the east today. Already falling, in fact, at the White House. Look at that.

New data shows big progress in the last decade in the fight against childhood obesity. A study show it's down 43 percent in children between ages two and five, when eating habits can be established.

The pressure is on. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, she could decide as early as today to sign or veto the right to refuse service bill, which critics consider anti-gay. She is meeting with people on both sides of the issue today.

President Obama is sending a message to Afghanistan's leader that all U.S. troops will leave that country if Hamid Karzai does not agree to a security deal. Karzai has so far refused to sign an agreement.

And at number five, check out the mini pope. Pope Francis greeting his tiny doppelganger during his audience in St. Peter's Square this morning. The little one was dressed up for Italy's carnival and was crying when the pope picked him up and was crying as the pope handed him back.

We're always updating the five things to know. So be sure to go to for the very latest.

Kate, who's your friend over there?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Some adorable. Thank you so much, Michaela.

I will introduce you to them in just one second. We want to talk more now about a story we have been following very closely here on NEW DAY. Doctors in California say they have now been just flooded with calls from parents and also fellow doctors about a polio-like sickness that's affected some 20 children, including children like Sofia Jarvis, who has -- her left arm has been paralyzed after suffering from what at first appeared to be asthma. Sofia and her parents, Jessica Tomei and Jeffrey Jarvis, are here with us now.

Thank you so much for coming in.

Sofia, did you see your picture? Yes. How are you doing? I know, pretty. It's a little stunning to be on TV. I can totally understand.

Jessica, Jeffrey, you thought it very important -- it's been a whirlwind for you, but you thought it was very important to come out so other people can hear your story and learn from what you've learned over the past year and a half. Take me back. Talk to me about this symptoms. They thought it was asthma. What did you - what was Sofia suffering from first? What did you know?

JESSICA TOMEI, DAUGHTER HAD POLIO-LIKE ILLNESS: At first she was wheezing, which she had never - I've never heard that in her before. So I contacted the doctor and they said, bring her in, we should check her. So we went in and they diagnosed her with - said that she had -- sounded like asthma. And we went home with the asthma medication.

And on the way home she started vomiting. So, we kept her at home, kept a close eye on her. I was in contact with her pediatrician but we thought it was just a normal stomach virus that would run its course. In the morning, we - I took her to the ER because it just didn't seem like she was getting better and --

BOLDUAN: They change very quickly.

TOMEI: Yes, she -- she was in the ICU for 24 hours because her breathing rate didn't go down after the asthma medication was administered. So we ended up spending four days in the hospital for the - for asthma.

BOLDUAN: And then when did you realize that something -- it was far more serious than asthma or something that you couldn't explain? You saw her arm go limp?

TOMEI: Right. Well, we -- the following day we had a follow-up appointment with the pediatrician and we were leaving that appointment and she was reaching for a toy in the toy box and I remember, mid- grasp her -- she couldn't actually grasp the toy.

BOLDUAN: What do you thinking at that moment?

TOMEI: I saw it happen and I was thinking, well that's - you know, that's very strange. Perhaps it's from the -- that's where her IV was and perhaps, you know, the -- I'm not sure. So I asked the front desk to call the pediatrician out so we - I could ask her, you know, what do you think is possibly going on, why is she not able to grasp any more?

BOLDUAN: And so still there is such a mystery around why this is -- what has happened to Sofia and what has happened to all of these other children. I mean I assume the mystery of it all must be some of the hardest part about living through this, Jeffrey.

JEFFREY JARVIS, DAUGHTER HAD POLIO-LIKE ILLNESS: Yes, absolutely. We -- when it all started, we didn't know what was going on. And there was several days in the hospital where we didn't know if this would be a condition that would continue or if it was an acute situation. And it was - it was tough on us.

But we have a strong family and we've been able to just kind of be together and we're so proud of Sofia and how she's been able to keep a great attitude and really continue to make progress and be an incredible little girl. Just a normal, wonderful little girl.

BOLDUAN: Talk to me about that progress. It's been a lot of hard work. A lot of physical therapy. Even nerve transfer at one point trying to help her with mobility in her arm, with anything. We now are hearing a story of just overnight of a 10-year-old boy in California who did regain the use of his arms.


BOLDUAN: Does that bring you hope? Where do you -- do you still maintain hope that this can get better?

TOMEI: I -- you know, the prognosis was poor when it first happened, but because they - you know, when it first happened, we wanted answers and we were wondering like why isn't this more important to what's going on, like why aren't we getting any answers if this is so rare, they don't know what happened, aren't you scared about what happened?

So, you know, as time went on, we've created a community, found a community where we could get some questions answered through -- it was a transverse myelitis was her original diagnosis. So we talked to a lot of parents that were effected with transverse myelitis. And they did give us hope. Like you do not, you know -- the doctors will tell you -

BOLDUAN: Don't give up.

TOMEI: Yes, it's six - you know, if it doesn't -- if you don't gain recovery in six months, then you shouldn't expect any recovery. But that's not - it's not true. I mean it may not be a lot of recovery, but she's continually, you know, gaining - she -- her thumb is moving again. So there is hope.

BOLDUAN: Any progress -


BOLDUAN: Any little thing is a huge step for her at this point.

TOMEI: Right.

BOLDUAN: Because she was an active, perfect, healthy four-year-old.


BOLDUAN: She's still perfect, though. We'll definitely tell you that.

What -- you wanted to speak out because you want to make sure other parents listen and pay attention and are aware and that they also speak up.

TOMEI: Right.

BOLDUAN: What do you want parents to look out for? Do you -- I don't assume that there is, but when you look back, could you have done anything differently?

TOMEI: I mean that's a question that we will always be asking ourselves, I believe. But I think we've, you know, we took her to Stanford, one of the best institutes for medicine.


TOMEI: We took her to Johns Hopkins. So I feel like we've done the best we can do. I would like to reach out, you know, to other families that this is occurring, like there - there's some -- we can collaborate, possibly support from the families that are going through this so that if this happens to other families, they have more resources when it does - when it first happens, like -- because that was the scariest part for us, not having the answers.

BOLDUAN: You felt in the dark.

TOMEI: And reaching out to the medical community and they didn't have the answers. So being able to have more research into what's going on - I mean there's a lot going on. It's neurology, it's spinal cord injury as well, it's - if it was caused by a virus or autoimmune. So there's so many, you know, it's a intersection of different parts of medicine that if we can get the word out that possibly there can be collaboration with the medical community, that's also a goal.

BOLDUAN: And to just be aware and be your own - your own child's best advocate.

TOMEI: Exactly.

BOLDUAN: Because up knew better than anyone that something was wrong.

TOMEI: And that's something for parents. Don't -- you have to be an advocate in the medical -

BOLDUAN: Speaking of neurology, did I read that you now want to be a neurologist when you grow up? Did I read that? No.

TOMEI: She was talking about being -- when we went through the surgery, she wanted to be -- she kept saying, I want to be the neurosurgeon.

BOLDUAN: The neurosurgeon. Even better. Well, we'll be right here with you.

TOMEI: But - but I don't know any more. It's probably changed.

BOLDUAN: It - well, it probably changes every day for her.


BOLDUAN: She want to be a fireman tomorrow. Great to see you. Thank you so much for coming in.

TOMEI: Thank you for having us.

BOLDUAN: And thank you for speaking out. And it's great to meet you, beautiful. She's -- nap time. She had a bagel because she had not had enough breakfast she was telling us.

Great to meet you. Thank you so much.

TOMEI: OK. Thank you.

JARVIS: Thank you.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: She's a beauty and she weathered that interview well. Not easy for a kid that age.

Coming up on NEW DAY, a major victory for Hollywood stars. "People" magazine says it will no longer publish unauthorized photos of their kids. So, is this going to make a difference? Will it change the paparazzi culture? Hmm, what do you think, Mich?

PEREIRA: Well, that's a very good question. We'll discuss it.

Hey, look who's here. Yes, the man that made history in Sochi in the giant slalom, becoming the only U.S. alpine skier to win Olympic gold twice. Not once, but twice. Ted Ligety here live on NEW DAY. I can't control my excitement.


CUOMO: Such a hot topic, we're already talking about it. Celebrity parents are rejoicing this morning, but will you be happy. Here's the story. "People" magazine has joined Entertainment Tonight in announcing it will no longer show unauthorized photos of famous children. Will this change the paparazzi culture? Will this change our purchasing culture? Christopher John Farley is here. He's the editor of "The Wall Street Journal" entertainment blog "The Speakeasy."

Speak easily, my friend. What do you think about this change?

CHRISTOPHER JOHN FARLEY, EDITOR, WSJ ENTERTAINMENT BLOG "THE SPEAKEASY": Well, I think they made the move in part because they had to start policing themselves. There was a law passed in California last year that limited paparazzi from taking pictures of kids. Halle Berry, some other celebrities were pushing that. Jennifer Garner. And so I think the industry wanted to police itself before somebody else starts passing more laws against them.

And, two, I think they want to differentiate themselves from all the other kinds of celebrity pictures that are out there. I mean the magazine industry is facing double digit declines. "People" especially, they've been facing declines. They're face layoffs at Time Inc. So this is a way of sort of moving forward, doing something different and saying, hey, we're not like all these other celebrity purveyors of pictures out here.

CUOMO: Bottom line, do people want the pictures?

PEREIRA: Right, that's the question.

FARLEY: Yes, people do want the pictures. They're going to find the pictures somehow. And, also, if you read the note from the editorial director of "People" carefully, there are some loopholes there. I mean they'll run pictures if celebrity parents want to give them the pictures or sell them to them. They'll run them if they're at some sort of public event of some sort where there - you'd expect they wanted their pictures taken if they're on the red carpet. They'll also run them if it's newsworthy. And that's a huge loophole.

PEREIRA: but that doesn't seem - that doesn't seem like a huge loophole. It seems appropriate because then at least there's parental involvement. I think there's also the -- it's kind of a two part. There's the pictures themselves. It's the pursuit of the pictures that some of the parents are really having an issue with, isn't it, that they're going to these lengths and the children are being frightened and scared and sometimes even put in danger.

FARLEY: Yes, and we recently talked to Kristen Bell, the star of "Veronica Mars", new movie coming out. And she's one of the celebrity parents along with, Dax Shepard, her husband, who has been leading this huge push against paparazzi coming trying to take pictures of them and their kids.

And they've been also having some traction on Twitter with the #nokidspolicy. And so all of these things I think helped frighten magazines and some other online purveyors trying to take pictures to say, you know, we don't want to have -- you know, we don't want find ourselves trending in the wrong way. We're going to cut the ties to these things now because we don't really need them.

I mean, "People" magazine is seen as a quality entertainment product. They don't want to be associated with some of these other paparazzi out there. One of the hash tags out there is "pedarazzi" -- trying to acquaint paparazzi with pedophiles and obviously magazines -- quality ones don't want to be associated with that.

BOLDUAN: What direction do you think consumer demand is going though? That's a different thing than saying it's right or wrong that pictures are being taken of celebrity's children. Do you think consumer demand is moving in the direction of agreeing with this move or moving in the direction of they still want to see these pictures and they're going to buy them. You say people still want them but will that (inaudible) the demand of the magazine.

FARLEY: We're going to have to wait and see. Obviously right now, the quality magazines are facing these steep declines. Online is where people are going to get this kind of celebrity content. Will they keep seeking it out elsewhere? We'll have to wait and see. But for the most part people want to see adult celebrities. They don't really want to see little kids being stalked by cameras. CUOMO: Celebrities should also make a move to have celebrities stop selling pictures of their kids. That would do a lot to curtail this also.

FARLEY: That's what's trending. We'll come up with a hash tag for that.

CUOMO: #youdontneedthemoney -- that's the hash tag.

FARLEY: I like that one -- #youdontneedthemoney.

BOLDUAN: Christopher -- it's great to see you though.

FARLEY: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Thank you so much.

Time now for this week's "Human Factor". Allison Lint is an award- winning violinist who overcame a life threatening illness and now she's giving back. Take a look.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Allison Lint began playing the violin when she was just seven years old. At 16 the high school junior and student at the Cleveland Institute of Music started to feel exhausted. Then she had difficulty breathing.

ALLISON LINT, VIOLINIST: I couldn't perform every day tasks. I couldn't remember how to dial the phone.

GUPTA: She was misdiagnosed with bronchitis and then pneumonia and a few months later she was rushed to the hospital coughing up blood from a lung hemorrhage. She spent two and a half weeks then in an induced coma.

LINT: They weren't sure if I was going to live.

GUPTA: When she finally left the hospital doctors still didn't know what was wrong with her.

LINT: They sent me to the Cleveland Clinic where I was diagnosed with Wegener's granulomatosis.

GUPTA: -- which causes a form of vasculitis or inflammation of the blood vessels. But throughout several relapse, Allison -- she never gave up on her music. She started Violin for Vasculitis and she plans to travel to all 50 states telling her story and performing to raise awareness and money for this disease.

Last October came an invitation to join the Akron Symphony.

LINT: It feels really, really neat knowing that I overcame all of this and I'm still able to play.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: Thank you -- the music still.

CUOMO: Right -- and a beautiful story.

BOLDUAN: Thank you so much.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY he lit up the slopes in Sochi. Now he's lighting up our morning, skiing right into your hearts on NEW DAY. Ted Ligety, Olympic gold medalist, a champ, here with us next live.


PEREIRA: All right TJ, time for "The Good Stuff".

Just two minutes and 45.29 seconds over two rounds for Ted Ligety to become the first U.S. man to win the giant slalom. He's also the only American alpine skier to win -- count them, two -- Olympic gold medals. Have I mentioned he's 29?

The very accomplished Olympic champion Ted Ligety; I've seen him in so many commercials up here. He is on our couch. Welcome. We're so very proud of you. How are you feeling?

TED LIGETY, OLYMPIC CHAMPION: Thanks. Feeling good -- I'm a little bit tired. I just flew over the other day and actually fly right back for more racing on the World Cup tour tomorrow.

PEREIRA: Because it's not done for you. You don't get any time off.

LIGETY: No, I still have six races left.

BOLDUAN: When is the down time? When does the down time come for you?

LIGETY: So, the end of my season is end of March. And then I have basically the summer off. We start skiing again in August.

BOLDUAN: Oh my gosh.

CUOMO: Where are you in terms of what you want to -- your legacy to be in this sport? You're only 29 years old but you've had so much success. So how does this set your goals going forward?

LIGETY: I still plan on racing for a while longer, definitely -- at least to the next Olympics. Then we'll see. There's still a lot I want to achieve on the circuit. I want to win the overall championship. I've won some giant slalom globes, won world championships but there's still things I want to do.

BOLDUAN: Let's talk about Sochi specifically because it's why you're here.


PEREIRA: That's why you have that gold medal sitting in your lap. We noticed that.

BOLDUAN: And you can leave it.

PEREIRA: A lot was made about -- there it is -- a lot was made about the conditions. We talked about it here stateside. What was going on for you as a competitor with your team, how you were feeling about it, how did you overcome some of the challenges?

LIGETY: The conditions are actually OK. It was more like summer skiing than it was traditional winter skiing but it was more or less the same for everybody. So it wasn't that big of an issue.

BOLDUAN: It turned out OK for you.

LIGETY: Yes, exactly. Works out OK and it's just -- you know, how it goes. You know ski racing is an outdoor sport and there's a million different kind of conditions you can be under -- so.

BOLDUAN: Can you take us back to the moment. I really love this sort of conversations with the Olympians. Take us back to the moment when you realized you may have pulled it off. What was in your head?

LIGETY: The moment I pulled -- I knew I pulled it off was when I crossed the finish line in the second run. You never really know in ski racing that you won until you actually cross the finish line. So to come to a finish line and see the number one next to my name was huge really, especially because I was one of the big favorites in that race and there's a ton of pressure. So to know that I was able to ski the way I wanted to ski under that pressure was really gratifying.

BOLDUAN: Did you do anything special to deal? What was your process? How did you deal with that pressure because you can't, we can't overstate how intense that is.

LIGETY: Yes. I just try to focus on my skiing. I have a lot of confidence in my ability in my skiing. And so I just kind of worry about what I can worry about in my skiing and then hopefully it ends up equally a fast time.

BOLDUAN: And it did.

PEREIRA: Something else I noticed really close to your heart is USSA. Can you talk about that? The desire to get more athletes able to go to the Olympics -- talk about your passion for that.

LIGETY: Yes. Ski racing is an individual sport but we train and compete together as a team. We're traveling on the road for six or seven months on the road together. It's a good team atmosphere, U.S. ski team is actually one of the only teams out there that's not government funded. So we take -- we have sponsors and stuff but we also have a big part are of our support comes from the general public.


BOLDUAN: When you can cut turns like that, we were talking about it in the break, what is like an easy day skiing with your friends like? Are you still out there?

LIGETY: In the springtime I try to go out powder skiing and just ripping around with my friends at home.

BOLDUAN: Does anyone want to ski with you?

PEREIRA: Warren Miller.

CUOMO: Is there anybody (inaudible) not want to ski with you?

BOLDUAN: How do you keep up?

LIGETY: I don't try to like go that fast when I ski with my friend. But a lot of them are good skiers themselves. They are good skiers themselves. It's not a big deal. I go skiing with Warren Miller every spring as well.

PEREIRA: That is such a cool thing.

CUOMO: Very cool.

What Kate was really talking about his thighs -- you know just full disclosure. How rock solid your thighs.


CUOMO: I mean it was a little embarrassing.

PEREIRA: No he is in context.

BOLDUAN: That's out of context. If you've ever skied you know that when you get done with a run you are dog-tired. I'm just saying do you even get sore after runs because you're in such great shape and you can carve the way you carve.

LIGETY: I don't get sore. My legs get tired at the bottom of the runs. You know doing a ski race is like running a 400 meter. You're like going as hard as you possibly can but I get sore at the bottom of a run. They don't get sore.

PEREIRA: No time for you to be tired now. Off to Europe tomorrow.

BOLDUAN: Yes, exactly.

CUOMO: Well, you felt it before but each time has got to mean as much if not more. You were the best. Thanks for bringing it home for the U.S.


PEREIRA: Really a delight. Congratulations.

BOLDUAN: Thank you so much. We're going to bug Ted a little bit more.

CUOMO: Wow. BOLDUAN: You can do that in the break.

CUOMO: Who wants to be me right now?

BOLDUAN: I can't handle you.

In the break -- we're going to discuss that further.

But coming up next the latest from Arizona where Governor Jan Brewer is still considering whether to sign or veto a controversial bill that many say is discriminatory.


PEREIRA: Have we recovered?

BOLDUAN: A lot more news, time now for "NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello -- Carol.

CUOMO: The hand, Carol, that touched Ligety's leg.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: I envy that hand. I don't know where to go. What I'm thinking? Have a great day.

"NEWSROOM" starts now.