Rhode Island Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo was caught maskless at a wine bar last week, just one day before entering quarantine when the head of the heath department tested positive for the novel Wuhan coronavirus.
The photo captured Raimondo at the Barnaby’s Public House restaurant in Providence for a wine and paint night, provoking backlash after the governor encouraged residents to stay home.
Meet Rhode Island's Gov Gina Raimondo – she told her citizens to stay home – she said they couldn't even go to a friends house for a visit.
And this is Gina all gussied up at a wine bar, mask-free for a xmas wine/art event.
Why are you still listening to these people? pic.twitter.com/I9GsGIXfeO
— Amy (@RestingTwitFace) December 17, 2020
“Please, stay home except for essential activities & wear a mask anytime & wear a mask anytime you’re with people you don’t live with,” Raimondo wrote on Twitter earlier this month.
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
“You can drink wine at home. I’m an experienced wine drinker, Gina. Do it at home,” Providence resident Susan Goodman told a local ABC affiliate, saying she felt the governor was engaging in a double standard.
Erica Oliveras, the woman who took the photo however, came to the governor’s defense telling the local Rhode Island station that Raimondo only removed her mask when she was drinking and followed all proper protocols.
“When she came into the building she had her mask. Whenever the waiters approached her she had a mask on,” Oliveras said.
While Raimondo did not technically break any of her state’s shutdown guidelines which allow for indoor dining up to a third of restaurant capacity, the double-standard set by engaging in a non-essential activity outside the household after telling residents to avoid the same conduct puts the Rhode Island governor in the same company as Democratic lockdowners violating their own rules.
Most recently, Austin Mayor Steve Adler threatened residents with stricter lockdowns while vacationing in the resort town of Cabo San Lucas on a trip following his daughter’s downtown wedding.
“We need to stay home if you can. This is not the time to relax. We are going to be looking really closely… We may have to close things down if we are not careful,” Adler warned residents in a Facebook.
Adler later apologized for the hypocrisy.