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–> A midday take on what’s happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*
*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha–breaks down crying hysterically.
Paying respects in Buffalo:
President Biden and first lady Jill Biden are in Buffalo, N.Y., meeting with local leaders and families after Saturday’s mass shooting at a local supermarket.
Updates on the Biden trip, via Buffalo News
Photo of the Bidens on the trip to Buffalo: Via ABC News
And a photo of the Bidens arriving at the scene of the shooting: Via The New York Times’s Doug Mills
Happening at 1 p.m. EDT: Biden is expected deliver remarks from Buffalo. Livestream
➤ ‘BUFFALO SUSPECT PLANNED ATTACK FOR MONTHS, ONLINE POSTS REVEAL’:
“A cache of online postings suggests months of preparation and planning preceded Saturday’s racist massacre in Buffalo and shows how the suspect evaded a state law that could have prevented him from owning a gun.” More from The New York Times
➤ ‘HEROIC ACTIONS, SPLIT-SECOND DECISIONS MEANT LIFE OR DEATH FOR SHOPPERS AT BUFFALO GROCERY STORE’:
Via The Washington Post’s Marc Fisher, Jacob Bogage and Silvia Foster-Frau. The full story
IT’S TUESDAY. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here.
🗳 On the campaign trail
Pennsylvania is getting a lot of attention today:
Pennsylvania is the state primary to watch today as both parties hold their contests Tuesday.
Why Dems are on edge: “[T]he shock has not yet faded in Democratic circles that the clear front-runner in their Senate primary, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, suffered a stroke on Friday at the age of 52. Fetterman says he is on the road to recovery and that he did not ‘suffer any cognitive damage.’ But the development, so close to the primary, has jangled Democratic nerves.”
Where the GOP race stands: “The top tier of the GOP field is comprised of TV personality Mehmet Oz, conservative commentator Kathy Barnette and businessman David McCormick — all of whom Democrats believe have potentially fatal flaws.”
Why Pa. is important in the midterms: “Pennsylvania gives the Democrats a rare chance to pick up a Senate seat at a time when the upper chamber is split 50-50. The seat is currently held by Sen. Pat Toomey (R), who is retiring.”
How today’s primary in Pennsylvania could play out, via The Hill’s Niall Stanage
➤FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN NORTH CARLINA AND PENNSYLVANIA TODAY:
Keep in mind: Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), who has recently been involved in several controversies, is on the ballot. The list of what storylines we’re watching, via The Hill’s Max Greenwood
🍼The baby formula shortage
Opening back up:
Via The New York Times’s Christina Jewett, “The Food and Drug Administration on Monday reached an agreement with Abbott Laboratories on the steps needed to reopen the company’s shuttered baby formula plant, which could begin to ease the shortage of infant formula that has frightened and exasperated parents nationwide.”
Timing: “The company said on Monday that production could begin within about two weeks and could translate to more formula on shelves in six to eight weeks. The company said it will continue flying formula in from a plant in Ireland.” Everything we know
Why the plant had been closed: Four babies, including two who died, contracted a rare bacterial illness. The FDA closed the facility to investigate after it found unsanitary conditions. “Abbott said the FDA has not been able to definitively link its formula to the illnesses. The company said it has been making corrective improvements to address the FDA’s concerns.” More on the closure, via The Hill’s Nathaniel Weixel
➤WHERE THE FORMULA SHORTAGE STANDS:
From The Hill’s Lexi Lonas: https://bit.ly/3wjAUT4
➤WHY BREASTFEEDING ISN’T A SOLUTION TO THE SHORTAGE:
‘The many, many costs of breastfeeding,’ via Vox’s Aubrey Hirsch
🦠 Latest on COVID
Kids can level up:
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just authorized a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster for kids ages 5 to 11.
For context in that age group: “Only 28 percent of children 5-11 have received the first two shots, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
What about kids under 5?: A vaccine has still not been authorized for children under 5 years old.
➤ BY THE NUMBERS
Cases to date: 82.3 million
Death toll: 997,215
Current hospitalizations: 9,783
Shots administered: 581 million
Fully vaccinated: 66.4 percent of Americans
Mitch is trying to speak the loudest:
“Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is stamping out former President Trump’s efforts to sow dissension in the Republican Party over whether to send tens of billions of dollars in new assistance to Ukraine.”
McConnell’s position: “McConnell is framing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a clear threat to U.S. national security interests, espousing the muscular foreign policy worldview that Republicans were known for before Trump took office in 2017.” How McConnell is now going on offense
➤ ‘THE 11 SENATE REPUBLICANS WHO OPPOSED ADVANCING AID FOR UKRAINE’:
Sens. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), John Boozman (Ark.), Mike Braun (Ind.), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Bill Hagerty (Tenn.), Josh Hawley (Mo.), Mike Lee (Utah), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Roger Marshall (Kan.), Rand Paul (Ky.) and Tommy Tuberville (Ala.).
The other 81 senators voted in favor of the Ukrainian aid package. The final vote will happen later this week.
The Washington Post’s Max Boot writes, “Thanks, Vladimir Putin, for greatly strengthening NATO.”
Excerpt: “It turns out NATO is neither brain dead nor broken. The unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine has given the alliance a new lease on life, making it more politically united and militarily formidable than at any time since the end of the Cold War.” Read his full column
ABC News’ Jonathan Karl tweeted, “[Fox News host] Tucker Carlson derisively refers to [Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas)], who lost his eye while serving our country as a Navy SEAL in Afghanistan, as ‘eye-patch McCain.’ ” Video
The House and Senate are in. President Biden is in Buffalo, N.Y. Vice President Harris is in Washington, D.C.
- 8:10 a.m. EDT: Biden and first lady Jill Biden left for Buffalo, N.Y.
- 10:25 a.m. EDT: The Bidens paid their respects and met with families in Buffalo following the weekend shooting.
- 1 p.m. EDT: First votes in the House. Today’s House schedule
- 3:25 p.m. EDT: The Bidens return to the White House.
- 4 p.m. EDT: Four roll call votes in the Senate. Today’s Senate schedule
- 4:45 – 9 p.m. EDT: More House votes.
📺What to watch
- 9 a.m. EDT: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre spoke with reporters aboard Air Force One. Livestream
- 11 a.m. EDT: Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis delivered a joint address to Congress. Livestream
- 1 p.m. EDT: President Biden delivers remarks in Buffalo. Livestream
- 4 p.m. EDT: The Bidens host a reception to celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff will also attend. Livestream
🍒 In lighter news
Today is National Cherry Cobbler Day.
And because you read this far, here’s a dog who has customized a pool to his liking.