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NEW DAY SATURDAY
VA Chief Resigns; Donald Sterling Wants to Sue the NBA; Miami Heat Defeats Indiana Pacers; Chuck Reaves on PTSD and Shinseki Resigning; Justin Rose Fighting Childhood Hunger in Orlando, Florida; Outbreak of Measles in U.S. Due to Lack of Vaccination and International Travel; Hidden Cash Quest in San Francisco and Other U.S. Cities
Aired May 31, 2014 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: One man down, but will there be more to go? The scandal that sacked the leader of the VA. And it's not over yet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VETERANS AFFAIRS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: If people have committed criminal acts they should be punished. No ifs, buts and maybes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Seventeen tons of explosives packed into a truck in Syria. This time the man driving was American. This American. So who is this man? We're learning more about him this morning.
PAUL: And sure, he's about to lose his team but embattled Clippers owner Donald Sterling, he has a lot of fight in him. $1 billion fight, in fact.
Hey, if you're going to rise, you might as well shine, and we are happy to see it. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I like that. You might as well shine.
PAUL: Might as well.
BLACKWELL: I like it. I'm Victor Blackwell. 6:00 here on the East Coast. This is NEW DAY SATURDAY.
PAUL: Yes. The chief of Veterans Affairs, this is who we're talking about this morning because he's waking up without a job right now amid all these revelations of stunning failures at the agency charged with caring for the nation's men and women who serve our country.
BLACKWELL: Yes. Retired four-star General Eric Shinseki resigned Friday just hours after he apologized for the systemic shortcomings but on his way out he laid out a plan to start to correct those problems.
PAUL: CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta has learned Shinseki's departure, really as we saw it -- I mean, I think it surprised everybody how fast it happened.
PAUL: It was, he said, very sudden and very swift.
Good morning, Jim.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Christi and Victor, in a day of high drama here at the White House, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki was gone in 60 minutes. With Democrats calling for his head, Shinseki, according to one administration official, stepped down on his own.
ACOSTA (voice-over): For President Obama, there was not time to wait.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Secretary Shinseki offered me his own resignation. With considerable regret, I accepted.
ACOSTA: According to White House officials the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki was over in one hour. First Shinseki met in the Oval Office with the president, Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and the top White House aide now overseeing the VA Rob Nabors. Then the president and Shinseki went for a walk on the South Lawn for a private conversation. Minutes later, Mr. Obama said Shinseki had concluded he was too much of a distraction.
OBAMA: And so my assessment was, unfortunately, that he was right. I regret that he has to resign under these circumstances.
ACOSTA: Shinseki's departure came as the VA released an audit of its health system that found facilities around the country were flag for further review because of concerns about questionable scheduling practices. The VA secretary was more blunt in a morning speech claiming his own officials had been lying to him.
GEN. ERIC SHINSEKI, VETERANS AFFAIRS SECRETARY: I was too trusting of some and I accepted as accurate reports that I now know to have been misleading with regard to patient wait times.
ACOSTA: The president said the White House was also in the dark that VA officials were concealing wait times.
OBAMA: This issue of scheduling is one that the reporting systems inside of the VHA did not surface to the level where Rick was aware of it or we were able to see it.
ACOSTA: Over at the capitol, House Speaker John Boehner had his own rapid response, that Shinseki's departure is not enough.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: His resignation, though, does not absolve the president of his responsibility to step in and make things right for our veterans. Business as usual cannot continue.
ACOSTA: Besides the internal probes of the scandal already under way, the chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee said the Justice Department is also involved.
SANDERS: Criminal acts they should be punished. No ifs, buts and maybes.
ACOSTA: White House aides say expect other VA officials to go.
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We'll be holding accountable specific individuals.
ACOSTA: But the VA will be doing that with the new interim secretary, Sloan Gibson, who's only been on the job in his role as a deputy secretary for three months. A White House officials says it's too early for a shortlist for a permanent replacement -- Christi and Victor.
BLACKWELL: Jim Acosta for us -- Jim, thank you very much.
PAUL: Well, he says it's too early but there is a list.
BLACKWELL: Yes, there is.
PAUL: And it is fairly short.
CNN's Erin McPike joins us live from Washington to discuss these possible long-term replacements. I understand there are six people on the list?
ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi and Victor, some of these lists are coming from other media outlet like the "Washington Post," for example, but I want to play for you something that President Obama said in his press conference yesterday about why we know that Sloan Gibson who, as Jim pointed out, has only been in the job for three months, probably won't get the full-time job. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We're going to need a new VA secretary. So Sloan is acting. Sloan, I think, would be the first to acknowledge that he's going to have a learning curve that he's got to deal with.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCPIKE: And former Senator Jim Webb of Virginia is another name that has surfaced, but he was on "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper yesterday, and Jake asked him, would he be interested in the job, well, here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES WEBB (R), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: I have a family who has a citizen soldier tradition. It goes a long way back. My son left college and enlisted in the Marines and fought in Iraq. I've followed these issues, I've worked on them pro-bono and I'm here to help if they want some advice but I'm not particularly interested in the position.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCPIKE: Now another name that has come up is Rhode Island Senator Jack Reid. Of course, he has come up for a number of Cabinet conditions over time. He's always suggested as a possibility, another one, Admiral Mike Mullen, and also General Peter Chiarelli. But I would point out that part of what we have discussed and part of the scuttle over Shinseki's resignation is that as a general, he understands the military, but that's a far different animal than the bureaucracy.
And that's part of the reason that he did not fit so well in that job. So some of the generals also on that list may not be under consideration at the end of the day -- Christy and Victor.
PAUL: All right. Erin McPike, thanks for breaking it down for us. Appreciate it.
BLACKWELL: Thank you, Erin.
U.S. intelligence officials are questioning family members to find out more about the American who carried out a suicide bombing in Syria.
PAUL: We know that they're saying he grew up in Florida.
PAUL: The U.S. State Department says he's believed to be Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha.. He also went by the name Abu Hurayra al-Amriki. Intelligence officials have been keeping tabs on him apparently since he went to Syria several months ago to join extremist fighters.
BLACKWELL: He blew himself up a week ago at a massive suicide truck bombing at a Syrian government checkpoint. You see the video there.
PAUL: All right. Donald Sterling. Still in the NBA for -- a mere $1 billion.
BLACKWELL: One billion dollars.
PAUL: Billion with a B. The embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner says he's taken the league to court because of its decision to ban him for life and force him to give up his franchise.
BLACKWELL: So this latest twist comes, you know, just after his wife Shelly Sterling agreed to sell the team for $2 billion. Hey, it's the most ever paid for a franchise. Remember, we are talking about the L.A. Clippers here. The Clippers. $2 billion.
"New York Times" points out, rather, it net Sterling a nearly 16,000 percent return over 30 years after buying the Clippers for $12.5 million back in 1981.
CNN's Brian Todd has more.
Brian, good morning.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi and Victor, Donald and Shelly Sterling are speaking in two very different tones. Donald Sterling is suing the NBA for $1 billion, while Shelly Sterling has apparently resolved all of her differences with the league, and new information from sources on Donald Sterling's mental condition is throwing another wrench into all of this.
TODD (voice-over): Sources tell CNN that doctors have declared Donald Sterling mentally incapacitated. A finding that opened the door for his estranged wife to sell the L.A. Clippers for a record $2 billion.
Sources say Donald Sterling was examined by two independent doctors, both neurologists, sometime over the past month. It's an important finding because the Clippers are owned through a family trust with two trustees -- Donald and Shelly Sterling.
CNN has learned from one source a clause in that trust says if either Sterling becomes mentally unfit the other would become the sole trustee. Sources say Shelly was only able to negotiate the mega sale because of that declaration, but it might not be that easy. Experts say Donald Sterling still has grounds to challenge the finding, and the sale of the team.
NANCY FAX, TRUST AND ESTATES ATTORNEY: He would retain his own physicians, neurologists, psychiatrists, whatever it may be, and have those physicians take issue with the findings of the physicians that found him incapacitated.
TODD: All of which means what seems like a done deal could still wind up in court, and Donald Sterling's attorney may be ready for that. Maxwell Blecher tells CNN he believes the declaration of mental incapacitation was a, quote, "vast overstatement." He said Sterling had a diagnosis of the modest mental impairment. What Blecher called a, quote, "slowing down."
Blecher's new comments comes just one day after telling Wolf Blitzer, Sterling will fight the NBA's efforts to throw him out.
MAXWELL BLECHER, DONALD STERLING'S ATTORNEY: We don't think the team can be sold without Mr. Sterling's consent. Mr. Sterling is not going to consent unless the NBA does something about the scurrilous and illegal charges they filed against him.
TODD: Blecher and Sterling are suing the NBA for $1 billion in damages calling for Sterling's lifetime ban from the league and his $2.5 million fine to be lifted claiming the NBA's case against Sterling relies entirely on an illegally recorded conversation.
It's not clear if the lawsuit would interfere with the sale of the Clippers. Hours earlier, Blecher has told us Sterling would look at the sale to Steve Ballmer and decide where to go from there, saying, quote, "He doesn't want to fight with Shelly. That's the bottom line." DREW ROSENHAUS, SPORTS AGENT: Anything's possible with Donald Sterling. But with $2 billion on the line, not even Donald Sterling will mess this up.
TODD: The NBA announced it has resolved its disputes with Shelly Sterling, withdrawing its effort to terminate her ownership of the Clippers and canceling the owners' vote on that. In exchange she won't sue the NBA. The league also claims she's going to protect the NBA from any future lawsuits from Donald Sterling. But of course Donald Sterling's side may dispute that -- Christi and Victor.
BLITZER: Brian Todd, thank you very much.
PAUL: Now I can't decide if this -- I am sure that it's something that's dangerous but thinking my kids would be in awe of it as we might be, too, a sinkhole. It's in Florida, it's getting bigger and guess what, it's right across the street from one very popular theme park.
BLACKWELL: We'll tell you which one.
And Michelle Obama is taking a stand unlike, really, any before from a first lady. Some say. We'll tell what you she's fighting for.
BLACKWELL: I don't know if there's a season for these things.
PAUL: I don't know.
BLACKWELL: Because I feel like last time about this time we were talking about one. A large sinkhole in Florida of course. Geologists are checking this one out. Look at it. It opened up in a parking lot across the street from Legoland back in Winter Haven.
PAUL: It's hard -- there you go.
PAUL: You see the cracks of it. I mean, it's not a full-fledged completely sunken in hole just yet.
BLACKWELL: Yes, you know, this started Thursday when people in the area noticed just a small depression there in the parking lot.
PAUL: Yes. Well, by the evening this is what it had grown to. So much bigger. Now none of the buildings around the parking lot, we're told, have been affected. But you can see the tape is around it and they're probably going to wait and see what happens with this thing.
BLACKWELL: Yes. You've got just stand by and let nature take there.
So this weekend parts of the country will be getting some really stormy weather. Strong winds. You've got the rain. Even some tornadoes that could become dangerous in some areas.
PAUL: That sounds like a good time for me to just go to the basement and turn on a movie.
BLACKWELL: Stay inside.
PAUL: Meteorologist Karen Maginnis in our severe weather center.
How bad is it going to get, Karen?
KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, we are looking at it just kind of spread over a broad area of the U.S. Not really as far as the tornadoes are concerned, but we've got a fairly sluggish weather pattern. Look along the Gulf Coast. Even some thunderstorms rumbling along the north central Gulf Coast at this hour, but our threat still remains for the potential for flooding just to the east of Baton Rouge and right around New Orleans.
Already some of these areas have seen six and seven inches of rain. An additional two to four inches possible. And then from Billings, Montana, to Rapid City, to Cheyenne, down across portions of Colorado, you're looking at severe weather for this afternoon. Strong to severe thunderstorms possible. That shifts further towards the east as we go into Sunday from Sioux Falls all the way down towards Amarillo. A slight threat. But nonetheless a threat there as well.
Along the Gulf Coast is a very stubborn area of low pressure is still persisting. And as a result, that sinks a little bit towards the south, but computer models are saying, yes, it's going to gradually weaken, and kind of give up that moisture, but I want to show you some pictures out of Florida. There was a tornado in Hillsborough County. Some damage reported here. Someone reported that his pontoon boat was in his neighbor's tree. There were no reports of any injury, but some damage, and today is cleanup.
Christi, Victor, back to you.
PAUL: Florida is just a mess this morning. Tornadoes and sinkholes.
BLACKWELL: Yes. Going into hurricane season.
PAUL: Yes. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Hey, if you woke up this morning and I don't know if you did, with a Twitter feed, Facebook, Instagram, full of pictures of LeBron James. This is why. The Heat. They are on their way to the NBA Finals for the fourth time in a row.
PAUL: And you know money does not grow on trees. But you know what? You can find it on Twitter. We're going inside the growing trend that's broken a frenzy over hidden cash.
BLACKWELL: Not a frenzy?
PAUL: Are you a follower yet?
BLACKWELL: The Miami Heat, they are heading back to the NBA Finals for the fourth time in a row.
PAUL: Yes, defending champs looking for a three-peat.
Rashan Ali has more on this morning's "Bleacher Report."
RASHAN ALI, BLEACHER REPORT: That is right. You do not want to play the Heat in Miami. They remain undefeated on their home court in the playoffs. Miami routed the Indiana Pacers 117-92 in game six of the Eastern Conference Championship. LeBron James and Chris Bosh led the way with 25 points apiece, eliminating the Pacers for the third year in a row.
The Pacers led the Heat for most of the regular season, but things obviously changed in the playoffs. The Heat are now the third team to reach the finals in four consecutive seasons.
Will Oklahoma State even their series with the San Antonio Spurs? Will they meet the Heat again? Well, the Spurs lead the Thunder three games to two in the Western Conference Finals. We will find out in game six tonight at 8:30 Eastern on our sister network, TNT.
And the Chicago Blackhawks forced a winner take all game seven in the NHL's Western Conference Finals. Patrick King scored two goals to Chicago's 4-3 win. The Blackhawks have now avoided elimination for the second straight game. Chicago hosts the game seven showdown with a berth in the Stanley Cup Final on the line tomorrow night. So --
PAUL: My husband cannot stop watching hockey.
PAUL: I can't stop watching you. I mean, she's kicking it today. You look so beautiful.
ALI: Thank you. Thank you. I have on Miami Heat red, too, yes.
BLACKWELL: Yes. Yes.
BLACKWELL: In tribute. ALI: In tribute to the Heat.
PAUL: I love it.
PAUL: Shoes are making it.
PAUL: You should, because you look awesome.
ALI: Thank you, and you as well, Christi.
PAUL: Thank you, Rashan, so much.
BLACKWELL: I mean --
ALI: I mean, you too, Victor. Seriously.
BLACKWELL: I took a shower. Tie. Shirt's all right.
ALI: You're awesome.
BLACKWELL: Thank you very much.
ALI: You're welcome.
BLACKWELL: Hey, seriously, though, the big news that's happening overnight. We're seeing where this will go. The VA chief out. But the list of the agency's failures, that is still growing. We're going to have a conversation with a Vietnam vet and he says the VA's own bureaucracy could make PTSD worse.
PAUL: Also, measles. There is an outbreak in this country that really has the CDC worried this morning. What caused this virus to suddenly reappear. We're going to talk about it.
PAUL: So in case you haven't looked at the clock. We're edging towards the bottom of the hour. Not that you need to know that on a Saturday.
BLACKWELL: Especially this hour.
PAUL: You can kick back and relax. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: And I'm Victor Blackwell.
Five things you need to know for your NEW DAY.
Up first, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki is out this morning. The VA chief filled his resignation -- filed rather. I apologize for that -- yesterday after weeks of criticism following allegations of a massive cover-up by VA hospitals. Now the VA acknowledges at least 23 veterans died because of the delayed care. Meanwhile, President Obama has named Shinseki's deputy, Sloan Gibson, as the temporary head of the VA.
PAUL: Number two, Donald Sterling is suing the NBA for $1 billion. The L.A. Clippers owner said he's taken the league to court because of their decision to ban him for life and force him to give up the franchise. And the move only shocked a lot of people because his wife Shelly just agreed to sell the team for $2 billion. That's not just a good deal, either. It is the most ever paid for an NBA franchise.
Stay with us all morning. We're going to have a lot more on this story's bizarre twists and turns because I'm wondering if he -- there's some info about his mental capabilities as well.
BLACKWELL: Yes. If he's mentally incapable, how can you file a lawsuit?
PAUL: How can he file a lawsuit?
BLACKWELL: Number three now. Intelligence officials, they're trying to find out more about the American who blew himself up in a massive suicide bombing in Syria. They believe they know the man's name, Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha, and that he grew up in Florida. They've been questioning family members and a few friends, and apparently he went to Syria to join extremist fighters there.
PAUL: Number four, a Marine is in a Mexican prison right now for accidentally crossing the border with several guns in his car. Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi tells CNN he was punched, left naked in his cell and shackled to his bed for almost a month. He's been in prison for two months now and says things have gotten better since his story became public, but not clear when he's going to go free.
BLACKWELL: Number five now. Gay rights activists are expected to take to the streets today in Moscow, and it's part of an effort to stage a gay pride rally there. And for the past eight years Russian authorities have refused to let activists legally hold that event. The end of May marks the anniversary of when Russia decriminalized gays back in the early '90s.
PAUL: Let's talk about Sergeant Daniel Somers. He was one of millions of veterans who sought treatment from the VA.
BLACKWELL: Yes. He served in the Iraq war running 400 combat missions in the turret of a Humvee. After his second deployment he was diagnosed with a brain injury. Gulf War syndrome and PTSD, and Daniel's parents say that despite their son's best efforts, the VA failed him.
PAUL: Sergeant Somers killed himself last year and yesterday on CNN Daniel's father Howard read from his son's suicide note.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD SOMERS, SON COMMITTED SUICIDE: My mind is a wasteland filled with visions of incredible horror, increasing depression and crippling anxiety, even with all of the medications the doctors dare give. Simple things that everyone else takes for granted are nearly impossible for me. I cannot laugh or cry, I can barely leave the house. I derive no pleasure from any activity. Everything simply comes down to passing time until I can sleep again. Now to sleep forever seems to be the most merciful thing.
PAUL: Oh, my gosh, you just feel for those people.
BLACKWELL: Having to read those words. Wow. Joining us now, is Chuck Reaves, he's a decorated Vietnam veteran and author of the book "A Boy Becomes a Man in Nam" understanding the cause of PTSD. Chuck, Good to have you here, again. The question is how has this scandal and the wait times and the delays, how have they affected people with PTSD?
CHUCK REAVES, AUTHOR: You know, it's interesting, Victor, that this process that's going on with the VA., this malady, this within the system, is actually creating more PTSD and aggravating PTSD. One of the fundamental causes is abandonment. At some point, the warrior feels abandoned by the military service that he or she is in. In a firefight, or we don't get resupply. In my case we didn't even have ammunition. So that sense of abandonment leaves the warrior on their own. They have to make their own decisions and then they have to live with the consequences of those decisions for the rest of their lives. Now we feel abandoned again.
PAUL: I understand, and I'm sorry to hear this, sorry for the loss, that you just recently lost a friend, and you say the VA failed him?
REAVES: The VA did. He was a wonderful guy, he was running a nonprofit to help veterans with PTSD in a healing ministry that he had. And he would never say anything negative about any VA., but those of his friends who were trying to get him, trying to get past the bureaucracy, he constantly had to fight the battles for them. We lost a great warrior. We lost a great friend.
BLACKWELL: Let me ask you about the news about the resignation of General Shinseki.
BLACKWELL: Do you think he had to go?
REAVES: You need to understand first of all that veterans do not abandon veterans right now.
BLACKWELL: You told me that this morning and it stuck out and it will stay with me. That a veteran will not leave the wounded.
REAVES: That's right. And right now we see General Shinseki as a wounded veteran. Did he have to go? Politically, of course, he did. The focus, the press, the media, the public was all on him. He needs to get out of the way. But we need to recognize what's really going on here. Whenever a large group of people come together, a bureaucracy is inevitable. There are layers of management that naturally builds a bureaucracy. In the military, the bureaucracy, orders are obeyed, things are done according to the rules, because the consequences are life and death. In business, a bureaucracy, we obey the rules, we follow orders, because the consequences can be no profit. We can go out of business. Are there consequences in government? If someone underperforms, what are the consequences? So what we have now is a bureaucracy that needs to be overhauled, and if anyone were to ask my advice, my recommendation would be, first of all, we need a combat veteran heading that up.
BLACKWELL: Not another general?
REAVES: But not another general officer, in my estimation, unless he or she surrounds themselves with a number of field-grade officers, like colonels and majors, because they are closer to the surface. Now, listen closely to what General Shinseki said. He was surprised that he had not been given the information. A general always gets the right information at the right time, the right way. They're accustomed to that. They ask for something, they receive it immediately. Between the general and the medical practitioners and the wounded. There's this wall of bureaucracy. And some people were saying whatever they had to say, doing whatever they had to do in order to preserve their position, or to meet some arbitrary guideline. That has got to change.
PAUL: All right. Well, Chuck Reaves, we appreciate your service, sir.
REAVES: And we appreciate what you are doing to help the veterans. Thank you.
PAUL: Thank you so much for being here to talk with us. We appreciate it.
REAVES: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: You know, if you have not been vaccinated against measles, yeah, measles, you may want to consider it. Measles cases are on the rise around the country. The question is, what's causing this outbreak suddenly?
Also, when British golfer Justin Rose moved to the U.S. he was surprised to learn how many American families struggle to put food on the table. So he and his wife teamed up with a national charity to feed hungry kids. CNN's Chris Cuomo has this week's "Impact Your World."
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Thank you.
KATE ROSE: You're welcome, sweetie. CUOMO: For these kids, blessings come in the form of apples, corn, even tuna.
KATE ROSE: That's a nice smile you have there.
CUOMO: Thanks to blessings in a backpack, elementary students on a federally funded school meal program can take home a bag of food for the weekend.
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: It helps me, because sometimes we don't have enough money to buy food.
KATE ROSE: We can't expect children to turn up on Monday morning at school and expect them to learn, and be in a good state for learning when they just simply haven't had enough food unfortunately over the weekend.
KATE ROSE: Kate Rose and her golf pro husband Justin helped feed 1600 kids in five Orlando area schools. The 2013 U.S. Open champ raises money through his Birdies for Blessings campaign.
JUSTIN ROSE: How are we doing?
For every birdie I make I give $100, which is the amount to feed a child for the school year. One of my sponsors Zirik (ph) matched me birdie for birdie. So, every birdie I make, that feeds two children for the whole entire school year. That gives me a lot of incentive to be out there on the golf course working hard to improve my game.
CUOMO: Another incentive is believing that blessings in a backpack is feeding the future of America. Like six-year-old Tatyana.
UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: I would like to be a healthy singer, a dancer, I'd like to be an artist. I'd like to be everything when I grow up.
PAUL: So, I don't know if you're aware of this, but measles cases in the U.S. are at a 20-year high right now. The virus is highly contagious and it usually causes really only a fever and rash, if you're lucky.
BLACKWELL: Yeah, but however it can lead to pneumonia, brain damage, deafness and in some rare cases, death. CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen has details for us this morning. Elizabeth?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor, Christi, yes, we broke a record and it's not a good one. We have reached a 20-year high for measles cases. 288 cases so far this year, and that's the most we've had since 1994. Now there's really, you know, several reasons behind this, but here's the big one. People are not vaccinating their children. And then what happens is those kids get measles and then they spread it to other people. Now, we're seeing that this is the worst in the state of Ohio, and then there's no mystery there. What happened was that some folks from the Amish community went to go do volunteer work in the Philippines. Well, a lot of people in that community, in the Amish community, don't believe in vaccination, and the measles unfortunately is quite common in the Philippines. So you have unvaccinated people going to a country that has a lot of measles. Well, that spells trouble. Of course, those folks came back to the United States, and they were infected, and they got other people sick, and as you can see from this map, there are outbreaks in 17 other states as well. So you might wonder, well, I vaccinate my family. Am I OK? Well, there's a little bit of an issue here. Babies don't get vaccinated until they are about one year-old. You can't vaccinate them when they're little teeny, tiny babies. So you may fully intend to vaccinate your child when your doctor says do it at the age of one, but your child is going to be vulnerable for a year to somebody who comes in with the measles. So that's a problem also. Not all adults are fully immunized and they might not necessarily even know it. So, this is a problem even for those of us who do the right thing and vaccinate our children. Victor, Christi?
BLACKWELL: All right, Elizabeth Cohen, thank you very much.
PAUL: So, I tell you, too, about this new drug that's giving some women hope of having a baby after they have cancer treatments. It's called Goserelin. And it works by sort of putting your ovaries on pause while a woman is in chemotherapy. And then when the chemo wraps up, it kicks start your ovaries again. It's still very early, but results show that women who took the drug were more likely to have a child after chemo than those who did not.
BLACKWELL: The first lady takes one of her causes to the pages of the op-ed section. What Michelle Obama is fighting for, and what it might mean for her legacy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yannick Noah achieved the pinnacle of French tennis. He became the first Frenchman to win the Roland Garros singles title in 37 years and the feat has yet to be repeated.
(on camera): If I was in Leon, Paris, wherever, and I went up to a 15-year old boy or girl, 16-year-old, and I say, Yannick Noah, what does he do? What would he say? He say, he was a tennis player, and now he is a rock star.
YANNICK NOAH: No, they have no idea. Most of them have no idea that I was a tennis player. Nobody took -- I stopped in 1990, it was like 23 years ago. You know, that's a long time. I've had the best moments of my life, more than 30 years ago. It's right here in my heart forever. Every time I see it, every time I -- think about it -- I'm complete.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) PAUL: Well, Michelle Obama did something this week that we're told as far as first ladies go, this is pretty rare. She took to the "New York Times" to publicly take Congress to task over a House bill that would make it optional, not mandatory, for schools to serve fruits and vegetables and control sodium levels. She says that undermines the progress that's been made as a result of her anti-childhood obesity initiative. "You don't have to be a nutritionist to know that this doesn't make much sense." That's one of the things she wrote. She went on to say, our children deserve so much better than this.
BLACKWELL: But despite the effort, despite the op-ed, the bill has passed out of the committee and will be debated by the full House later this summer. Joining us now to talk about this, HLN contributor Jason Johnson, also a professor of politics science at Hiram College, politics editor at "Source" magazine and on and on -- how rare is this move?
JASON JOHNSON, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: This is incredibly rare and it's not so much just the first lady writing something in "New York Times," but criticizing Congress. Usually they take on this fairly soft issues, and they'll advocate, but it's completely different to say Congress is doing something wrong right now and we need to do something different. It's really a reflection of Michelle Obama's unique power.
PAUL: Yeah, but I mean first ladies haven't taken on soft issues, per se. And you've got Hillary Clinton with health care. Nancy Reagan had her anti-drug campaign. We had Barbara Bush with literacy. What is it about Michelle Obama that's different?
JOHNSON: Well, I think one, it's her popularity level and two, it's why she chose fit this as an issue. Hillary Clinton caused Bill so much trouble when he was in office because it was seen, hey, the first lady shouldn't be that involved in policy, because we didn't vote for her. We voted for whoever happens to be in the White House. So, for Michelle to take something that's a fairly simple issue, and then say, look, I'm not just going to advocate for this, but when Congress doesn't do something that helps my policy, I'm going to criticize them? That's pretty new. We haven't seen that before from many first ladies in history.
BLACKWELL: OK, so let's say she goes - and we see it's been voted at the committee. It's going up to the full house. Let's say she loses. What does that mean for her?
JOHNSON: Well, if she loses, she's just going to complain more. And that's the issue. You know, if you look historically, and they've been taking polls from Gallup on first ladies all the way back to Eleanor Roosevelt. Michelle Obama is the second most popular first lady in office of any. She just follows Laura Bush, she's much more popular than Nancy Reagan, much more popular than Lady Bird, much more popular than Hillary Clinton. So, she's in a unique position to make these sort of criticisms because of high public stature. A lot of other first ladies haven't been able to do it.
PAUL: Yeah, but isn't it hard to say - talk about popularity when we're living in an age of Twitter and Facebook, and social media, where you can get out there so much more than previous first ladies?
BLACKWELL: They didn't have those.
JOHNSON: Yeah, you can be out there. It doesn't mean people like you. I mean Nancy Reagan was out there all the time. She was on "Different Strokes," I mean, which was a popular TV show at the time. People still didn't really like Nancy Reagan, which was surprising given how much they really, really loved her husband. Hillary Clinton was probably the most active first lady we've ever had in history, certainly in the last 30 or 40 years, people still didn't like her. So, Michelle Obama's ability to get herself out there, with Twitter, with Facebook and writing on different blogs, it's because people actually like her and they want her more. Whereas in the past some of the first ladies, we didn't want to hear from them.
BLACKWELL: You know, I've often thought about what politics would look like if we had some of the social media in different times. I mean if Jackie Kennedy had a Facebook page?
PAUL: Can you imagine? Can you imagine?
BLACKWELL: If Richard Nixon had a Twitter account? I mean the things that we would learn.
JOHNSON: Look, we already saw what happens with Anthony Weiner. I don't know ...
BLACKWELL: Oh, my ...
PAUL: Oh, my god.
JOHNSON: If had Twitter, so.
BLACKWELL: Let me ask you this. You say that the first lady is so popular and now she's taken on this - this political stance, taking up a fight with the House. Do you think that means a run for office at some point?
JOHNSON: I don't think so. I think that My Brother's Keeper initiative that the Obamas have talked about, I think that's going to keep them really busy. I think that a lot of these connections he's even established in Hollywood. I think Michelle Obama is just going to go and be an activist. Hillary Clinton always wanted to run for office. So we kind of knew that that was actually going to occur, even when she was with Bill. But I don't think they have a political future, I think they have an advocacy future probably closer to Jimmy Carter than what we are seeing with the Clintons.
PAUL: OK, let's talk about them as a couple, because you say that they are going to be one of the most influential in history.
PAUL: One state post-president.
JOHNSON: Exactly. PAUL: Why?
JOHNSON: Well, because there's a lot of people who don't like how Obama's done his job, but they like him the person. His personal approval ratings have always been in the high '60s. And then as a couple, they have become icons, even for people who don't like the Obama presidency, like it looks like a strong marriage. They're good parents. So I think when they leave office, the kinds of things they can represent about family initiatives, and teenagers, and children, and volunteering, and military families, I think there will be a couple that America really learns to love even post the White House. We haven't really seen that before.
BLACKWELL: All right. Jason Johnson, Hiram college professor, political editor of "The Source," HLN ...
PAUL: Yada, yada, yada!
BLACKWELL: Thank you so much, Jason.
JOHNSON: Thanks, guys.
PAUL: Thank you.
So, this is - I always think this is a dumb question. Do you need extra cash?
BLACKWELL: Yeah, well ...
PAUL: Who doesn't need extra cash?
BLACKWELL: I'll take it.
PAUL: Have you checked Twitter lately? Hundreds of people across the country are finding envelopes full of cash, and a trend that started in San Francisco has spread across the country. If you could see Jason Johnson's face right now.
BLACKWELL: All right, time now for the good stuff. And this is really good. This is really good. And we've all been there. You know, you just could use a little bit extra cash, $10, $20, $50 extra.
PAUL: Just a little. Well, one man on Twitter is making that happen leaving envelopes full of cash hidden across cities like San Francisco, and Los Angeles. And he sparked a trend that stretched all the way across the country now.
BLACKWELL: Dan Simon has a look at the hidden cash that's creating a Twitter frenzy. Look.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just really want to say, God bless to him, because this is really helping my family.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's an exciting treasure hunt and everyone has a similar reaction.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you guys looking for the cash?
UNIDENTIFIED MALES: Yeah!
SIMON: This one caught on live television.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ooh! I got some. We got some money.
SIMON: The anonymous real estate investor behind @hiddencash told me he wanted to spawn a movement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just got here. It's got to be around somewhere.
SIMON: The idea is simple. He hides cash-filled envelopes and then posts clues to their location on Twitter, amounting to $1,000 a day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's absolutely no political agenda, no religious agenda, there's no business agenda. The whole agenda is random acts of kindness, pay it forward. And seeing a smile on people's faces.
SIMON: His generous efforts have paid off. What began as a social experiment in San Francisco and Los Angeles has now produced copycats in a host of other locals, including New Orleans, Tampa, St. Louis and here in Boulder, Colorado.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just been great to see the happiness on people's faces and people excited about kind of exploring the city.
SIMON: The movement has even spread overseas. What's remarkable is @hiddencash did not even exist ten days ago. Now his Twitter page has hundreds of thousands of followers.
(on camera): All right. He just posted a new clue. It says, find Mr. Franklin along the crookedest street. Let's go.
(voice over): We spent an afternoon followed his clues at San Francisco landmarks.
(on camera): All right. He just tweeted that the money is right near the Golden Gate Bridge. And we'll be there in just about a minute.
(voice over): Each location had lots of people looking. Izzy Miller was among the lucky ones. His envelope stuffed with a hundred dollar bill.
(on camera): What do you think about what he's doing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's awesome. It's a totally fun thing to do and the fact that he's doing it in a philanthropic and sharable mindset, this makes it even cooler.
SIMON (voice over): A mind-set that has quickly spread around the world.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look at you - You're out of breath.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Girl.
SIMON: Dan Simon, CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trying to get this money.
SIMON: San Francisco.
BLACKWELL: That is such an honest reaction.
PAUL: Look at this smile.
BLACKWELL: Girl, looks trying to get this money.
BLACKWELL: I know you have a question. I'm trying to get this open.
PAUL: So, Jonathan just tweeted me and said.
PAUL: Mystery cash hit Vancouver, B.C.
BLACKWELL: I know, right. A lot of cities.
PAUL: And - national people.
BLACKWELL: So, I'm on this hidden cash, @hiddencash is the hash tag. Now additional 22,000 followers. And this morning, just hours ago, stuffing little plastic angry birds, if you know the game, with cash.
PAUL: You can't be too angry with that bird.
BLACKWELL: No, at all. 11 a.m.
PAUL: All right, it's going to happen.
BLACKWELL: More money to be found.
PAUL: Just so you know. Hey, good luck to you if you are out there looking for it or will be.
BLACKWELL: Or if you're working for it this morning. Good luck to you, too.
PAUL: Next hour of "NEW DAY" starts now.