First Read is a briefing from “Meet the Press”, and the NBC Political Unit about the most important political stories of the day and why they are important.

WASHINGTON — After clearing a trucker blockade, the U.S.-Canadian Bridge has been reopened by Canadian police. … President Biden in an interview with Lester Holt of NBC. criticizes NFL’s lack of Black head coaches. Senator Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.) says he will be back to work in a few days. … Texas primaries are open for early voting. The United States wins more medals at the Winter Olympics. … The West Coast represented at last night’s Super Bowl in more ways than one.

First, we must admit that we are still in a holding mode on two major stories — one domestic and one global.

The first story: Russia’s likely/looming/imminent invasion of Ukraine.

Biden spoke to Putin over the weekend, telling him there would be “severe and swift” consequences if Russia invades. He also told Zelenskyy that the United States would respond “swiftly, decisively” if this happens.

The second story is Biden’s Supreme Court pick. He said he would reveal it by the end this month.

On Friday, NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell reported that President Trump has reduced his shortlist down to three candidates — federal appeals Judge Ketanji brown Jackson, California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger and District Court Judge J. Michelle Childs.

O’Donnell said that Biden would review the writings and opinions of the finalists over the weekend at Camp David. Interviews could start as early as this week.

The political news cycle has been experiencing a temporary downturn.

However, this seems to be changing in the next few days.

This is the total number of National Football League teams that have not hired a Black head coach (not including interim coaches, as per, a situation which President Joe Biden discussed in his pre-Super Bowl interview with Lester Holt.

Biden stated that “the commissioner pointed out they haven’t lived up to their promises”

“The idea that a league made up of so many athletes from color, and so diverse, means that there are not enough African-American coaches to manage these NFL team seems to me to be a high standard they would want to meet. Although it is not required by law, it is a requirement for some common decency.

You need to be familiar with the following numbers:

15 The number of medals won by the U.S. Olympic Team in China is six less than the leader, Norway.

57%: In the new CBS News poll, 36% of parents said that masks should be compulsory for school-age children. 7 percent disagreed.

Roundup of the midterm

Texas’ March 1 primary will see early voting begin in Texas today. Although the Lone Star State now has fewer congressional seats than before redistricting, there are still primaries to be aware of, including in Texas’ 28th District where progressive attorney Jessica Cisneros will be taking on Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas).

Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. endorsed Cisneros today.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, D.N.Y. , traveled to Texas to rally support for Cisneros. She also met with former Austin City Council Member Greg Casar. Casar is running in the solidly Democratic and open 35th District.

As legislation to ban stock trading among members Congress gains momentum on Capitol Hill, NBC’s Allan Smith, Sahil Kapur and Jane C. Timur report that the issue of banning stock trading among Congressmen is growing in importance. NBC’s Jane C. Timm and Henry Gomez report that Democrats in governor’s offices and secretaries of state elections have made protecting democracy central for their campaigns.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), supported Rep. Vicky Hartzler in the GOP Senate Primary in Missouri on Saturday.

Protect Ohio Values is a super-PAC that supports “Hillbilly Elegy”, author JD Vance, in Ohio’s GOP Senate Primary. Recently, launched a new ad backing Vance. After , the group’s ex-pollster, raised concerns regarding Vance’s position in the race, the group launched the ad.

Two GOP senators are facing primary elections with their new TV ads. Oklahoma Senator James Lankford attacks Biden in the new spot, while Arkansas Senator John Boozman praises Biden and touts his endorsement by former President Donald Trump.

Ad Watch: McCormick’s call-out to conservatives

Pennsylvania Super Bowl watchers might have heard an unusual chant from their TVs last night. This was thanks to Republican David McCormick’s new advertisement during his campaign for Senate. According to Fox News , it was expected to appear on NBC platforms during big game.

The ad highlights negative headlines about Biden’s administration. It includes the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, illegal immigration and other issues. A crowd of people chanting “Let’s Go Brandon” echoes in background. Before long, a text slate informs viewers that “This is so much larger than Brandon”.

This isn’t the first time the “Let’s go Brandon” chant has been used in an ad. Other Republicans, such as Arizona GOP Senate candidate Jim Lamon have also used it.

ICYMI: What other happenings around the world

According to the BBC, Ukraine’s foreign minister would like to meet with Russia as well as other European countries in order to discuss rising tensions and Russia’s troop buildup.

The New York Times reports on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s efforts to recruit top candidates in key Senate races, who would have some independence form Trump.

Politico profiled Michigan Democratic Senator Gary Peters who heads the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis is fighting for his party in congressional redistricting.