The NNR this week comes with a content warning–we have several stories that show a shocking cultural disregard for children’s wellbeing. I have marked the stories that involve child endangerment with a caret (^) symbol, so that you have the ability to skip them if you need to. Please take care while reading, and take care of yourself.
Standard standing reminders still apply: I guess after six years I’m conceding that I’m a journalist, but I summarize news within my areas of expertise. NNR summaries often contain some detailed analysis that’s outside my expertise–I’m a lawyer, not a campaign!–but all offroad adventures are marked with an asterisk. And, of course, for the things that are within my lane, I’m offering context that shouldn’t be considered legal advice. Okay, I think that’s about it for the disclaimers. Onward to the news!
Cleanup in Aisle 45:
The name of the game for Election Rejection is, ironically, primary elections, but they’re still unfortunately quite topical. Here’s what I have for you:
- Primary Blues. Since we’re a bit off our normal schedule, I’m bringing you news from not one, but two primary election dates, and much of it is a hot and/or fraudulent mess. North Carolina chucked local orgy aficionado and sitting Congressperson Madison Cawthorne after an extensive smear campaign from his own party, and down in Georgia, former Senator and full-time racist David Perdue enjoyed a similar table-turning. In the PA Senate primary, Trump-backed gremlin Mehmet Oz heads to a recount with hedge fund flavored David McCormick, though election rejection guy Doug Mastriano definitely won the gubernatorial GOP bid. The setbacks of these Trump-backed candidates highlight the fight currently happening within the party, especially as sitting officials in Georgia who refused to overturn 2020 results such as Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary Brad Raffensperger remained in the race. Meanwhile, five GOP candidates in Michigan were punted from the gubernatorial race because they committed election fraud to get themselves on the ballot, forging the necessary signatures to qualify.
I also have a lot for you on the Biden Rebuilding front, because we’re doing a dive into the formula shortage. Here’s what has happened:
- Infant Formula Shortage.^ A shortage of infant formula in this country has been coming to a head for several months, but we saw a particular amount of movement this week, which makes it a good time to unpack it all. Essentially, only four companies in the U.S. make modern infant formula, and we have major restrictions on importation as well. These facts started a cascading failure in February when the FDA shut down a plant that produced much of company Abbott’s formula supply. The shutdown absolutely needed to happen, because unsanitary conditions were basically poisoning the supply, which resulted in four documented cases of infection and two infant fatalities. But while Abbott jerked the FDA around, declining to acquiesce to governmental requests, there was no real backup plan in place for replacing the lack of production. This exacerbated an already-existing shortage. Eventually this week, Biden invoked the Defense Production Act and began ordering importation from Europe, but these are only very temporary stopgaps. Abbott’s plant in Sturgis has now reached an agreement with the FDA, but it will take two months for them to start producing formula again. It’s a very rough and harrowing time for families that is unlikely to be fixed in the next few weeks.
Your New Normal:
- State of the COVID-19. We have more information about the next COVID wave, brought to you courtesy of yet another dominant subvariant, and it’s… not great. Federal officials say that in many places in the US, we should all be masking. However, their messaging makes it clear that they don’t think they can make us, likely because Murrika freedom lawsuits suggest that they in fact cannot. This, predictably, means more rising cases.
- Elementary School Shooting^. For the second week in a row, I am forced to report horrific gun violence, this time involving a highly fatal elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Though details are still settling, it appears that an eighteen-year-old man bought two AR-15 rifles on his birthday and a few days later shot his grandmother, fleeing that location by car when she called police. He drove his car to Robb Elementary School, crashing it in a ditch nearby and reportedly engaging police officers present, who declined to follow him into the building. Then he entered the school and barricaded himself in a room, opening fire with said AR-15, ultimately killing nineteen elementary students as well as two teachers and injuring several more people. Needless to say, this nauseating story highlights the massive amounts of preventable gun violence that plague America, which as I noted last week has become even worse during the pandemic. We’re also already seeing the by-now-familiar pattern of no Congressional corrective action occurring, which is very difficult to watch.
- Recent Pediatric Resilience. In light of the above stories, I thought it might be helpful to talk a bit more about progress on pediatric vaccination–there was a lot of it this week. Early data from Pfizer suggests that they may have created an 80% effective vaccine for children under 5 by adding a third dose. Meanwhile, both the FDA and the CDC have cleared booster shots for kids aged 5-11 for Pfizer as well. It’s important progress that hopefully heralds more movement soon.
So that’s what I have for this week, and I’m so sorry for the contents. For making it through, you deserve these porcine nommers, these suggestions for how to help Uvalde, and a country that is less heartbreaking. I’ll be back next week with more restructured and improved news, and I hope you will be back as well–but in the meantime, feel free to ping the National News Roundup ask box, which is there for your constructive comments. Send me questions! Send me feedback! Send me articles on self-care because we all need them!