Four days after urging Rhode Islanders to avoid nonessential activities and stay home, and the same day she issued an executive order imposing restrictions on businesses and public gatherings to slow the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Gina Raimondo participated in a wine and paint event at a bar in Providence.
Another participant, Erica Oliveras, recorded video that shows Raimondo seated at a table with a wine glass in hand, mask off. Oliveras also snapped a photo of Raimondo with her mask on at one point.
A spokesman for the governor insists Raimondo did nothing wrong.
"The governor had dinner at a local restaurant with her husband, and had her mask on anytime she was not eating/drinking," Josh Block told a local news station.
But some people say the governor's activities were inappropriate. Raimondo "shouldn't even be at an event like that," said Providence resident Susan Goodman.
"You can drink wine at home," Goddman said. "I'm an experienced wine drinker, Gina. Do it at home."
The governor's December 7 tweet urging compliance with state restrictions asked people to "Please, stay home except for essential activities & wear a mask anytime you're with people you don't live with."
The day after her wine and paint outing, Raimondo began quarantining because a state official had tested positive for COVID-19.
Raimondo's executive order restricts capacity at dining facilities, and outlines how many different households may be present at a single table. It also decrees that certain types of businesses must close by 10 p.m. on most days, and 10:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Certain indoor entertainment facilities, including bowling alleys, movie theaters, and arcades, may not operate at all. The order is in effect through December 20.