Gov. Gina Raimondo (D-RI) is facing a backlash for a photo showing her at a wine and paint night after urging residents to avoid nonessential activities.
“The picture, taken by Erica Oliveras last Friday, shows Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo sitting at table in Barnaby’s Public House in Providence without a mask,” Fox News reported Wednesday.
However, Oliveras said she did not realize the criticism the photo would receive with many people pointing out the governor did not have on a mask.
“She only took her mask off whenever she was drinking her wine,” Oliveras told ABC 6. “That’s the only time she took it off. When she came into the building she had her mask. Whenever the waiters approached her she had a mask on.”
According to the outlet, the picture of Raimondo was taken one day before the head of the Department of Health tested positive for the coronavirus.
In a tweet on December 7, the governor encouraged residents to stay home “except for essential activities & wear a mask anytime you’re with people you don’t live with”:
It’s week two of our pause. I know it's been hard, but I want to thank every Rhode Islander who's following our guidance. Please, stay home except for essential activities & wear a mask anytime you’re with people you don’t live with. Together, we can turn our case numbers around.
— Gina Raimondo (@GovRaimondo) December 7, 2020
In a tweet on Sunday morning, Raimondo said she tested negative for the illness a second time, adding, “I am fortunate to be feeling great and will continue working from home during my self-quarantine”:
Thank you to everyone who has reached out and offered well-wishes. I tested negative again today. I am fortunate to be feeling great and will continue working from home during my self-quarantine.
— Gina Raimondo (@GovRaimondo) December 13, 2020
While some Twitter users wished the governor well, others pointed to the apparent double standard:
— Doc Holliday (@miliaryTB) December 13, 2020
“We are on fing pause. You should be setting an example. I would have loved to be out on Friday nite… but no…. I followed the rules,” one person commented.
“How did your painting come out on Friday? I specifically purchased a sketch book and supplies from Job Lot to do the same thing at home,” another replied.
Per the state’s shutdown guidelines, indoor dining is allowed up to 33 percent of a restaurant’s capacity, the Fox report said:
Meanwhile, indoor entertainment facilities like movie theaters, bowling centers, and arcades, but remain closed through Dec. 20. Businesses such as restaurants, bars, personal services, gyms and recreational facilities must close by 10 p.m. on most weekdays and by 10:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Following the backlash, Josh Block, a spokesperson for the governor, told ABC 6, “The governor had dinner at a local restaurant with her husband, and had her mask on anytime she was not eating/drinking.”