Rhode Island Gov. Faces Backlash After Going to Wine Bar While Telling People to Stay Home

December 17, 2020 Updated: December 17, 2020

The Governor of Rhode Island is facing criticism after she was seen at a wine bar just several days after telling residents in her state to stay home, encouraging people to only go out for essential activities.

“Please, stay home except for essential activities & wear a mask anytime you’re with people you don’t live with,” Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo said on Twitter last week.

The 49-year-old was spotted by Erica Oliveras at Barnaby’s Public House in Providence on Dec. 11 for a wine and paint night, WLNE reported, just four days after her post on social media.

Oliveras told the ABC affiliate she took a picture of Raimondo drinking wine at the party and not wearing a mask, adding that she didn’t realize the picture would inspire so much backlash.

She later clarified the governor was wearing a mask while attending the party and the photo she took doesn’t provide the full story.

“She only took her mask off whenever she was drinking her wine,” Oliveras told the station. “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.”

Raimondo said on Twitter on Dec. 13 she recently got tested for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus and tested negative again.

The governor is currently in self-isolation after the director of the Rhode Island Department of Health Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott tested positive for the CCP virus over the weekend.

“I tested negative again today,” Raimondo wrote on Twitter. “I am fortunate to be feeling great and will continue working from home during my self-quarantine.”

Rhode Island is currently on a three-week pause that started on Nov. 30 and will continue through Dec. 20, according to a Rhode Island shutdown guideline (pdf).

During this pause, entertainment facilities like movie theaters, art performances, karaoke, bowling centers, among many others, are forced to close, while indoor dining is allowed at up to 33 percent of the restaurant’s seating capacity, the guidelines show.

“The Pause is intended to reduce community transmission of COVID-19 by dialing down overall mobility and reducing social gatherings,” officials said. “These reductions are key to stemming Rhode Island’s recent increase in cases and hospitalizations over the winter months.”

A spokesperson for Raimondo’s office told WLNE the governor followed guidelines and was having dinner at the local restaurant with her husband and didn’t do anything wrong.

Other state residents, however, said that her actions were hypocritical because she advised Rhode Islanders several days prior to being seen drinking wine at a local restaurant to only go out for essential activities and “wear a mask anytime you’re with people you don’t live with.”

“You can drink wine at home. I’m an experienced wine drinker Gina, do it at home,” local resident Susan Goodman told the network, adding that in her opinion the governor “shouldn’t even be at an event like that” during this pause.

From NTD News