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Rhode Island Governor Apologizes For Not Wearing Mask At Black Lives Matter Rally

June 7, 2020

The governor of Rhode Island has apologized for violating her own executive order by not wearing a mask during a Black Live Matter protest in Providence on Friday night.

Governor Gina Raimondo “was seen in the crowd praying, protesting, and hugging those who attended,” according to WJAR-TV Channel 10, in violation of her administration’s social distancing rules.

Raimondo spoke with the protesters and “invited them to pray with her, grasping the hands of those standing nearby,” according to WPRI-TV Channel 12.

At the height of the coronavirus shutdowns in Rhode Island, Raimondo limited church services to five people, including funerals.

The governor’s current rules prohibit social gatherings of more than 15 people and require cloth face coverings. An executive order she issued Thursday, June 4 states:  “Any person who is in a place open to the public, whether indoors or outdoors, shall continue to cover their mouth and nose with a mask or cloth face covering unless doing so would damage the person’s health. … Face coverings are not required for people who can easily, continuously, and measurably maintain at least six (6) feet of distance from other people.”

A former Republican state representative, Bobby Nardolillo, called out the governor on Twitter during the morning of Saturday, June 6.

Nardolillo posted tweets referring to the governor’s draconian quarantine rules in April and May and her warning on to Rhode Islanders on March 22 to “knock it off” when it came to breaking the coronavirus emergency rules.

 

Later on Saturday, the governor said she got caught up in the moment the night before.

“The late hours in front of the State House last night were tense and hectic, and in that moment I neglected to put on a mask,” Raimondo said in a written statement by email on Saturday, June 6, according to The Providence Journal. “That was wrong, it was counter to our public health guidance, and I apologize. I have worked today to track down the names of those I was in contact with so that they can be added to my contact tracing notebook.”

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