Primaries in 4 states, extreme weather, FDA COVID vaccine review: 5 things to know Tuesday

South Carolina headlines primaries in four states

Voters in four primary states on Tuesday will weigh in on issues that will animate general elections across the country this fall, from abortion to former President Donald Trump’s political power to battles for control of Congress. Most political eyes are on South Carolina, where incumbents Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C. and Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C. face challengers backed by the ex-president. Rice was one of ten House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for inciting the insurrection, while Mace opposed impeachment but has criticized Trump for his conduct. Voters in Nevada, meanwhile, will decide the nominees in a fall Senate race that could turn on the abortion issue – and decide control of the U.S. Senate. A Republican senator in North Dakota faces a primary challenge, while voters in Maine set up an interesting governor’s race in the fall. Texas rounds out the day with a special congressional election in the southern part of the Lone Star State. 

Extreme weather expected to wreak more havoc across the US

More than 100 million Americans were under some heat warning or advisory Monday as a potentially record-breaking heat wave hit the central and eastern USA. The blistering heat is expected to continue in portions of the country Tuesday as temperatures in Chicago could reach 100 degrees, along with “oppressive humidity,” the National Weather Service warned. If Chicago hits the century mark, it would be the first time in nearly 10 years the city has seen a high temperature that extreme, AccuWeather said. In South Carolina, poll workers are preparing for what could be one of the hottest primary election days ever Tuesday, with highs forecast to reach 100 degrees and humidity making it feel closer to 110. Meanwhile, Yellowstone National Park indefinitely closed all five entrances and began evacuating some visitors Monday after heavy rains led to flooding and rockslides that washed out roads and at least one bridge. The entrances will stay closed Tuesday and Wednesday “at a minimum,” according to a news release.

FDA advisers to review COVID-19 vaccines for young children 

A Food and Drug Administration expert advisory panel will hold all-day meetings Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss safety and effectiveness data for the Moderna vaccine for children ages 6 months to 17 years and for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for kids ages 6 months through 4 years. The staff review suggests that there will be no major surprises and that the panel will recommend authorization of both vaccines. If that happens and the FDA commissioner signs off on the shots, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will follow the same process, and a different expert advisory panel will do a review Friday and Saturday. The CDC director would have to endorse the vaccines before the companies would be allowed to provide them. The Biden administration said that if the vaccines are authorized this week, they would become available as soon as June 21 at pharmacies, pediatricians’ offices, health centers and other outlets.

Quarters paying tribute to first woman to lead Cherokee Nation become available

The quarter honoring Wilma Mankiller, the first woman elected principal chief of the Cherokee Nation and the first woman to lead a major Native American nation in the U.S., will be available for purchase Tuesday. Mankiller rose to prominence in 1983 when she became deputy chief of the tribe, less than five years after being severely injured in a near-fatal car accident. Two years later, she was sworn in as principal chief, serving in that role from 1985 to 1995. During her three-term run, Mankiller tripled the tribe’s enrollment, doubled employment and was integral in launching housing, health centers and children’s programs in Oklahoma, according to The Wilma Mankiller Foundation. She also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor for a U.S. civilian, from President Bill Clinton in 1998. The coins, sold in packs, will be available for purchase on the U.S. Mint website at 12 p.m. ET.

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