Rhode Islanders can be cynical, but we’re also surprisingly trusting

Rhode Islanders trust Dr. Anthony Fauci more than much of the country.
Rhode Islanders trust Dr. Anthony Fauci more than much of the country.Al Drago/Bloomberg

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Happy Thursday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and I just found out there’s going to be a remake of “She’s all that” and I don’t know what to do with myself. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

ICYMI: Rhode Island was up to 23,358 confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, after adding 86 new cases. The most recent test-positive rate was 1.8 percent. The state announced three more deaths, bringing the total to 1,081. There were 84 people in the hospital, nine in intensive care, and five were on ventilators.


Turns out Rhode Islanders are a trusting bunch.

Our residents have more faith than the average American in doctors, scientists, police, the media, and even social media companies to do the right thing to best handle the coronavirus, according to a new poll.

The national survey from the COVID-19 Consortium for Understanding the Public’s Policy Preferences Across States shows that we even trust our local and state governments to do the right thing when it comes to the pandemic.

The only institutions where Rhode Islanders are less trusting than the national average: President Trump and the White House.

Only 31.1 percent of our residents say they have some trust or a lot of trust in the president to do the right thing, compared to 42.6 percent nationwide. While 46 percent of Americans trust the broader White House, Rhode Island checks in at 39.1 percent.

The consortium includes researchers from Harvard, Northeastern, Rutgers, and Northwestern. They surveyed 21,196 individuals across the country between Aug. 7 and Aug. 26 via an online poll. In Rhode Island, the margin of error fluctuated a bit, but it was generally around 8 percent.


The full breakdown of poll results can be found here, but below is a list of how Rhode Island compares with the nation on a wide range of people and institutions.

President Trump: Rhode Island: 31.1 percent / US: 42.6 percent

Joe Biden: Rhode Island: 56.4 percent / US: 50.2 percent

White House: Rhode Island: 39.1 percent / US: 46 percent

Congress: Rhode Island: 49.7 percent / US: 41.9 percent

State government: Rhode Island: 79.3 percent / US: 67.6 percent

City government: Rhode Island: 82.5 percent / US: 71.1 percent

Dr. Anthony Fauci: Rhode Island: 82.8 percent / US: 74.4 percent

Doctors: Rhode Island: 95.7 percent / US: 93 percent

Scientists: Rhode Island: 95.3 percent/ US: 88.7 percent

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Rhode Island: 88.5 percent / US: 79.4 percent

Pharmaceutical companies: Rhode Island: 68.7 percent/ US: 67.8 percent

Media: Rhode Island: 51.8 percent / US: 47 percent

Police: Rhode Island: 70.5 percent / US: 65.4 percent

Social media: Rhode Island: 36.4 percent / US: 33.5 percent

Vaccine acceptance (somewhat likely or extremely likely to get a COVID-19 vaccination): Rhode Island: 60.5 percent / US 59.2 percent


Amanda Milkovits has a fun story about the interactive post card exhibit in Roger Williams Park.

⚓ Amanda also reports that a lawsuit against the former Bristol town official accused of raping a boy was quietly dismissed earlier this month. It’s unclear if a settlement was reached.


⚓ Providence school officials are still trying to figure out why nearly 700 elementary school students who were enrolled in the district’s virtual learning program were absent on the first day of school.

⚓ Speaking of education, Governor Gina Raimondo acknowledged Wednesday that nine students or employees who were in various schools this week have tested positive for the coronavirus, but she said the state believes it can avoid a larger spread of the virus without closing schools.

⚓ A ninth man has been charged in connection with an alleged gang rape of an underage girl in Providence.


Marijuana: It’s still more expensive to buy pot in Massachusetts than in most other states.

Politics: Most presidential campaigns include lofty rhetoric about the future, but James Pindell looks at why President Trump and Joe Biden can’t stop talking about the past.

Lifestyle: My colleague Christopher Muther decided to book a hotel that has become a dorm for a bunch of college students. This is what he saw.

Military: Rarely in American history has the president been more critical of his military leadership, but Brian MacQuarrie writes that the nation’s active-duty commanders have refused to challenge him publicly, even as many Americans clamor for them to do so.


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.

⚓ Today is the 16th annual Hasbro Children’s Hospital Radiothon.

⚓ The Public’s Radio is hosting a virtual conversation at 6 p.m. on what Rhode Island will look like in 10 years.

⚓ Rhode Island House Republicans are holding a press conference at 1 p.m. that will focus on the Judicial Nominating Commission.

⚓ Do you ❤️ Rhode Map? Your subscription is what makes it possible. We’ve got a great offer here.

Thanks for reading. Send comments and suggestions to dan.mcgowan@globe.com, or follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan. See you tomorrow.

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Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.