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Shutting down Rhode Island’s economy was a ‘nightmare’ for Gov. Gina Raimondo

June 15, 2020, 12:28 PM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Mayors continue to respond to protests and to police brutality, Australia backtracks on subsidizing childcare, and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo leads the country on coronavirus testing. Have a productive Monday. 

– Raimondo’s Rhode Island. For any governor, shutting down their state’s economy is a “nightmare.” For Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, it’s one she’s determined never to live through again. 

The governor of the country’s smallest state joined Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women community via video chat last week. In a conversation with Fortune senior writer Michal Lev-Ram, Raimondo outlined exactly how she got transmission of the coronavirus under control—and her plan to make sure it stays that way. 

It was 11 p.m. on a Friday night in March when Raimondo, desperate to slow the spread of the virus among her state’s population, called contacts she had at Salesforce. Now the company’s software is used in Rhode Island state labs to allow people working as contact tracers, tracking potential spread of the virus, to work more efficiently. Rhode Island leads the country in testing; 17% of the state’s residents have been screened for COVID-19, compared to 7% nationally. 

Raimondo took her cue to focus on testing from what she saw happening in Singapore and South Korea, where leaders had relied on testing to get the coronavirus under control early. 

“I never again want to shut down our economy. It’s way too devastating,” Raimondo said on Thursday. “Testing will allow us to pinpoint the problems and then pinpoint our lockdown to a school, to a company, to a community.”

The governor is in her sixth year leading the state, but she says these past few months have been like nothing she’s ever experienced before. “I’m very comfortable making decisions, and making tough decisions, but this has been like nothing else,” she said. “There are no good options. Option A is bad. Option B is really bad, and Option C is pretty bad. Necessarily, you have a lot of critics.”

Read more—and watch Raimondo’s interview—here

Emma Hinchliffe
emma.hinchliffe@fortune.com
@_emmahinchliffe

ALSO IN THE HEADLINES

- Protests and police brutality. Cities and leaders continue to respond to nationwide protests over police brutality. In Atlanta, another unarmed black man—27-year-old Rayshard Brooks, a father of four—was killed by law enforcement. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms called for the firing of the officer who shot Brooks; police chief Erika Smith resigned. In San Francisco, Mayor London Breed introduced a plan to reform policing. And in Louisville, the city's metro council passed "Breonna's Law," banning no-knock warrants like the one used by police in the raid where officers killed Breonna Taylor. 

- Trump transgender rule. The Trump administration finalized a new rule that eliminates protections for transgender people who are discriminated against by their doctors, hospitals, or health insurance plans. Advocates for transgender rights plan to sue over the move. New York Times

- Short-lived subsidy. At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Australia began subsidizing childcare. But as the country begins to resume more normal life, childcare workers are among the first to see the subsidy for their wages cut. And as free childcare ends, extra stimulus is going toward the construction industry. New York Times

- The art of her deal. When Melania Trump postponed her move from New York to the White House in 2017, she used the delay as leverage to renegotiate her prenup with President Trump, according to a new book from the Washington Post's Mary Jordan. Jordan's book argues that the first lady is "much more like [her husband] than it appears." Washington Post

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Lime added Blue Cross SVP, chief legal officer, and corporate secretary Danielle Gray and Bain Capital Ventures partner Sarah Smith to its board of directors. NASA named Kathy Leueders, commercial crew program manager, to be the next leader of NASA's human spaceflight office. Crisis Text Line fired CEO Nancy Lublin after she was accused of "inappropriate conduct" and fostering a "toxic workplace" (Lublin has not responded to requests for comment); the organization's interim CEO will be board member Dena Trujillo

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

- The wrong woman for the job? An investigation into ABC News found that Barbara Fedida, SVP of talent and business, allegedly has a long history of making racist comments and fostering a "toxic" work environment. In response to the details in this story, ABC said it would place Fedida—whose role included overseeing the network's diversity and inclusion efforts—on administrative leave while it conducts an investigation. Fedida calls the claims "incredibly misleading." HuffPost

- Film moves forward. Starting in 2022, the Oscars will impose a diversity and inclusion requirement for films' eligibility for the awards. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hasn't yet announced exactly what that standard will be. Fortune

- The Musk of romance. Tosca Musk is at the top of an industry: romance movies, or adaptations of romance novels. The sister of Elon Musk says that, "No one ever said that my potential was less than my brothers’ potential just because I’m a woman." Wired

- Online shopping. On Singles Day last year, Huang Wei did 3 billion yuan in sales. Known online as Viya, the livestream shopping personality earned 30 million yuan in 2018 through her audience of 37 million. To explain her popularity, Viya says she "helps the customer make a decision." Bloomberg

ON MY RADAR

Glossier announces its grant initiative for black-owned beauty businesses Allure

Despite unrest, Treasury Department has no plans to speed Harriet Tubman to the $20 note New York Times

12 movies by black female directors that are essential viewing Marie Claire

Where J.K. Rowling's transphobia comes from Vanity Fair

PARTING WORDS

"In one heartbeat, I saw history, I saw our current situation, and I saw our future."

-Kerry-Anne Gordon, an OB-GYN and the bride photographed in her wedding dress at a Black Lives Matter protest in Philadelphia