The governor of Rhode Island is facing backlash this week after she was photographed at a wine and paint night just days after she had discouraged inessential activities to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
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, WLNE reported.
Oliveras told the station that backlash over the photo was blown out of proportion because Raimondo had only taken off the mask to drink her wine.
Still, others felt that Raimondo’s actions were hypocritical, given that four days prior she urged Rhode Islanders in a tweet to "stay home except for essential activities & wear a mask anytime you’re with people you don’t live with."
Susan Goodman, a Providence resident, told WLNE that the governor "shouldn’t even be at an event like that."
"You can drink wine at home. I’m an experienced wine drinker Gina, do it at home," Goodman said.
Others, however, thought the governor did no wrongdoing and that she was actually helping a small business.
"The main thing I took out of it is, ‘wow, she’s here at a small business and she’s supporting," Oliveras told the station. "She came in. She supported. She bought wine. She engaged."
According to the state’s shutdown guidelines, indoor dining is allowed at up to 33% of the restaurant’s seating capacity. 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.
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