The women leading through the coronavirus crisis

April 2, 2020, 12:42 PM UTC
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks at an event where General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra announced a $300 million investment in the GM Orion Assembly Plant plant for electric and self-driving vehicles at the Orion Assembly Plant on March 22, 2019 in Lake Orion, Michigan.
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Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Ivanka Trump talks about the stimulus package, Malaysia’s government urges women not to nag their husbands during a lockdown, and we salute the women leading through the pandemic. Have a peaceful Thursday. 

– Leading ladies. Yesterday, Claire wrote about Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, whose approach to mitigating the coronavirus has shown the world some glimmers of hope.

While finding good news—or even silver linings—is a bit of a struggle these days, I’ve been buoyed by the number of female world, state, and city leaders, who, like Frederiksen, have stepped up during the crisis to support and protect people they represent. Below, just a few of the women who have pinged our radar in the past few days:

Gretchen Whitmer, Governor of Michigan: We’ve all been reading a lot about Whitmer lately as she’s tangled with President Trump over the federal government’s handling of the pandemic. But now it seems she could be stepping into the national spotlight full-time: her name is being floated as a potential Joe Biden VP pick.

Sanna Marin, Prime Minister of Finland: Vogue profiles the 34-year-old Marin, a “millennial feminist environmentalist” who was elected in December and has sprung into action, invoking the country’s Emergency Powers Act to allow for an infusion of public funds for health care and social welfare.

London Breed, Mayor of San Francisco: Breed acted early to issue a shelter-in-place order, a move that’s been credited with keeping coronavirus cases lower than in other U.S. cities. She doubled down on her aggressive stance this week, extending the order to May 3—and suggesting that it may need to continue even longer.

Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand: Ardern, who imposed a nationwide lockdown, has been getting on Facebook daily to update and “check in” on citizens. In an utterly relatable turn, she sometimes appears in these videos “livestreaming in a sweater from bed.”

Whether clashing with a President, telling their constituents the unvarnished truth, or just checking in with the world in their pjs, the world’s female leaders are not backing down in the face of this crisis—and neither should we.

Kristen Bellstrom

Today’s Broadsheet was produced by Emma Hinchliffe


- Trading up. Sen. Kelly Loeffler made more stock trades than previously reported as the coronavirus pandemic ramped up in the United States. According to financial disclosures covering mid-February through mid-March, Loeffler sold shares in retail stores and bought shares in a company that makes COVID-19 protective garments. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

- Small business stimulus. Ivanka Trump did an interview with Yahoo Finance about the coronavirus stimulus package. Ivanka's signature issue within the package is relief for small businesses, which you can watch her discuss here: Yahoo Finance

- PSA: stop with the PSAs. What helpful tips! Malaysia's Ministry for Women, Family, and Community Development put out a series of online posters advising Malaysian women on how to get through the country's lockdown—specifically, not to nag their husbands and to dress up and wear makeup at home. NPR

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Kelly Ann Shaw, President Trump’s former trade and economic adviser, is joining Hogan Lovells as a partner. 


- Room for two. Some hotels are being used to house domestic violence victims who can't stay in their own homes or people infected with the coronavirus who need to isolate from their families. In the U.K., advocates are proposing pop-up maternity wards in empty hotels to keep pregnant women separate from COVID-19 patients. Guardian

- Hollywood from home. How is Hollywood adapting to conditions during the pandemic? Succession actor J. Smith Cameron, Showtime EVP for scripted programming Amy Israel, filmmaker Liz Garbus, and more told Fortune their new daily schedules and the most challenging part of being at home. Fortune  

- Stay safe, RBG! Until Wednesday morning, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was still going to the Supreme Court gym twice a week to work out, her trainer Bryant Johnson revealed. Once D.C. issued a stay-at-home order, Ginsburg finally started doing her workouts at home. The Cut


This boss accidentally turned herself into a potato for a video meeting and couldn't figure out how to fix it BuzzFeed

For victims of domestic violence, stay-at-home orders are a worst-case scenario Cosmopolitan

'A friend to all': Veteran CBS News journalist Maria Mercader died of the coronavirus BuzzFeed


"I thought to myself, I have the support in place to be able to come back. There’s no reason for me to stop just to start a family.”

-U.S. Women's National Team star Alex Morgan on her now-canceled plan to compete at the Olympics three months after giving birth

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