Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo addresses the media during a press at the State House in Providence. (Sandor Bodo/Providence Journal via AP, Pool)AP
UPDATED 8:02 AM PT – Thursday, December 17, 2020
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) was recently photographed at a wine bar socializing, just one day before she was diagnosed with COVID-19. The woman who took a photo of Raimondo, her friend Erica Oliveras, spoke out about the incident.
“She only took her mask off whenever she was drinking her wine,” she explained. “That’s the only time she took it off. When she came into the building, she had her mask.”
Oliveras defended Raimondo, mentioning that she did not realize the criticism the photo of Raimondo would attract. Despite the attempt by Oliveras to defend the governor, many condemned Raimondo’s actions and argued that she was not adhering to her own COVID-19 safety advice.
“Shame on you Gina! Come on, you know better than that,” said Susan Goodman, a resident of Providence. “She shouldn’t even be at an event like that, I mean, you can drink wine at home.”
The backlash increased over the weekend when the state’s health department director, Nicole Alexander Scot, tested positive for COVID-19.
After testing negative for the virus, Raimondo said in a tweet that she will continue to self-quarantine.