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

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
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