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Happy Wednesday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and I’m not sure I trust these new Tom Brady supplements. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.
ICYMI: Rhode Island was up to 12,951 confirmed coronavirus cases on Tuesday, after adding 134 new cases. The state announced 26 more deaths, bringing the total to 532. There were 247 people in the hospital, 59 in intensive care, and 44 were on ventilators.
As recently as January, Governor Gina Raimondo was considered among the least popular governors in the country, with an approval rating of just 35 percent. But her handling of the coronavirus crisis has sent her stock soaring, and now more 80 percent of residents think she’s doing a good job.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that a new online poll from SurveyMonkey shows Raimondo is the most popular Democratic governor in the country, and her 82 percent approval rating has her tied for second in the country with New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, and Vermont Governor Phil Scott, all Republicans.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, also a Republican, leads all governors with an 85 percent approval.
SurveyMonkey hasn’t released the rest of its poll, but its numbers on Raimondo appear to generally be in line with other recent polling.
A survey from Bryant University last month found 84 percent of Rhode Islanders trusted Raimondo, and 81 percent thought she was doing a good or excellent job.
Most governors have seen a bump in their approval ratings since the virus hit their states, in part because they hold regular briefings where they deliver relatively straightforward news while also attempting to be a calming presence for residents.
Now comes the hard part.
As Rhode Island and states around the country begin to reopen their economies, governors are going to come under immense pressure from business groups to move quicker to relax restrictions. We’re already seeing some restaurants and close-contact businesses like hair salons start to pushback against Raimondo.
Raimondo has repeatedly said that business owners have a right to be frustrated, and there’s no question that cabin fever is setting in for residents. The threat that unemployment benefits – especially that extra $600 a week that Congress approved – may expire this summer is likely to cause more anxiety.
NEED TO KNOW
Rhode Map wants to hear from you. If you've got a scoop or a link to an interesting news story in Rhode Island, e-mail us at RInews@globe.com.
⚓ I mustered up the courage to make reservations for outdoor dining on Monday evening (ie: convinced the Globe to pay for date night), and then wrote a short essay about the experience. The key takeaway: It felt both totally normal, and completely strange.
⚓ Rhode Island has rolled out its contact tracing app, and Governor Raimondo is encouraging everyone to download it.
⚓ Important story from Felice J. Freyer and Jonathan Saltzman: Within hours of issuing a press release about positive results on a test of a potential coronavirus vaccine, Moderna, the Cambridge-based maker of the experimental vaccine, saw its stock price jump by 20 percent. But there are still plenty of questions to be asked.
⚓ My colleague Liz Kowalczyk tells the story of a woman who delivered twins while she was extremely ill with the coronavirus.
⚓ Did you book a summer vacation before the coronavirus? The Globe’s Sean P. Murphy explains your options.
⚓ All four members of the Rhode Island congressional delegation participated in a virtual town hall event with WPRI last night. It’s worth a watch.
WHAT'S ON TAP TODAY
Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what's happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.
⚓ BIRTHDAYS: Rhode Map readers, if you want a friend or family member to be recognized on Friday, send me an e-mail with their first and last name, and their age.
⚓ Governor Raimondo’s daily coronavirus update is at 2:30 p.m. (Note the time change)
⚓Common Cause Rhode Island is hosting a webinar at 6:30 p.m. on how to maintain government transparency and accessibility during the coronavirus pandemic.
⚓ Hundreds of Rhode Islanders have already registered for a virtual event tonight hosted by Attorney General Peter Neronha and state Treasurer Seth Magaziner that will focus on student loans.
⚓ Do you ️♥ Rhode Map? Your subscription is what makes it possible. We’ve got a great offer here.
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