Rhode Island is on a COVID death spiral, so why did Biden hire Governor Raimondo?

President-elect Joe Biden confirmed on Friday that he would appoint Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo as Commerce Secretary. “She is one of the most effective and forward-thinking housekeepers in the United States of America,” Biden said in a speech revealing the choice.

Raimondo is said to have impressed Biden during the vice-president selection process, and she had previously been tasked with leading the Treasury and Health and Human Services departments.

But the governor of Rhode Island is reportedly moving to Washington at a time when its state faces one of the highest COVID-19 infection and death rates in the country, raising questions about how she could handle the massive and sprawling agency. If confirmed, Raimondo’s responsibilities range from negotiating trade agreements to overseeing the census and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

While some public health officials attribute Rhode Island’s exceptional coronavirus rates to demographic factors, such as population density and poverty, others say the governor has made major missteps, delaying restrictions to prioritize economic activity that has left the state with untraceable and uncontrollable community spread.

“We allowed the disease to explode in November and December,” Dr Michael Fine, former director of the Rhode Island Department of Health and chief health strategist for the city of Central Falls, told The Daily Beast. .

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