SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi faced some criticism Tuesday after video surfaced of an indoor visit to a San Francisco salon that briefly showed her not wearing a mask.
However, a statement released by Pelosi’s office Tuesday afternoon denied any wrongdoing or negligence.
The surveillance video shows Pelosi inside eSalon on Union Street in San Francisco without a mask, according to the owner of the establishment, Erica Kious. She reportedly provided the video to Fox News and said Pelosi got her hair done at around 3 p.m. Monday afternoon.
Kious, who rents stylists chairs at the salon and reportedly learned about one stylist’s plan to provide the Speaker a wash and blow dry the day before the appointment, told Fox News she felt Pelosi’s visit reflected a double standard, She said she considered the service “a slap in the face” to business owners who have closed during the pandemic.
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Though Pelosi seemed to be wearing a mask around her neck in the clip, it appears that the styling appointment was in direct violation of San Francisco’s health order prohibiting hair styling indoors.
Tuesday afternoon, KPIX 5 tried to talk to Speaker Pelosi, but she got in a car and was driven quickly away.
Her office released the following statement regarding the salon visit.
“The Speaker always wears a mask and complies with local COVID requirements. This business offered for the Speaker to come in on a Monday and told her they were allowed by the city to have one customer at a time in the business. The Speaker complied with the rules as presented to her by this establishment,” read a statement attributed to Pelosi’s Deputy Chief of Staff Drew Hammill.
Some San Francisco business owners KPIX 5 spoke with did not agree that assessment.
“It’s infuriating, but it’s not surprising. I feel like people need to get their hair done and they’re going to, at any cost,” said Priscilla Kangas who owns nearby salon SF Color Collective.
She said that Pelosis actions are a sign that San Franciscos COVID-19 restrictions are too stringent.
“I feel like at this point, it shows that we should be allowed to open,” explained Kangas. “I think that’s the bottom line is that if she feels comfortable getting her hair done inside of an establishment, then why can’t the rest of us?”
Pelosi was being heavily criticized by supporters of President Donald Trump on social media, with many people posting links to the Fox story and video and accusing her of hypocrisy and privilege.
“Nancy Pelosi just flat out broke the rules, she did it with impunity, and now she’s blaming the salon,” said Harmeet Dhillon, a Republican national committeewoman from California and a San Francisco attorney.
Dhillon represented hair stylists in a lawsuit against the state a few months ago, but that lawsuit has since been dropped.
“When people see that these laws do not apply to the rich and the powerful, they are beside themselves. It’s not an issue of politics, this is an issue of basic decency.”