On Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited a San Francisco salon to have her hair styled. However, the visit has stirred up some controversy since she was seen not wearing a mask.
Pelosi’s office released a statement on Tuesday. It stated that her visit inside the salon was indeed a violation of the city’s COVID-19 safety regulations.
The admission came after Fox News reported that the owner of the salon, Erica Kious, was angry that Pelosi had broken the rules. The rules require hair appointments to be conducted outdoors, because of the pandemic. Fox News also reported that it acquired video images showing Pelosi inside eSalonSF not wearing her mask.
Pelosi’s staff assured critics that she wore a mask during her hair appointment except when getting her hair washed. The security footage captured Pelosi with wet hair not wearing a mask as she walks between two rooms in the salon.
“The speaker always wears a mask and complies with local Covid requirements,” said Pelosi’s Deputy Chief of Staff Drew Hammill in the statement.
Hammill’s statement admitted Pelosi relied on one of the salon workers’ interpretations about what was allowed by new city regulations. The regulations just went into effect Friday, but the salon workers’ interpretation was wrong.
“This business offered for the speaker to come in on Monday and told her they were allowed by the city to have one customer at a time in the business,” said Hammill. “The speaker complied with the rules as presented to her by this establishment.”
Nancy Pelosi and the Salon Fallout
Pelosi’s staff said the speaker has a regular stylist who normally visits Pelosi’s house for hair appointments. However, the stylist was not available on Monday. Instead, they referred Pelosi’s staff to eSalonSF, because the stylist used to work there.
Kious told Fox News that stylists in her salon are independent workers that rent chairs in the space. It was one of the independent stylists who told Kious that she was planning to do Pelosi’s hair on Monday.
“I was like, are you kidding me right now? Do I let this happen? What do I do?” Kious was quoted saying to Fox News. She said that she “can’t control” what her stylists do if they rent chairs from her, because “they’re not paying” at this time.
Kious thinks Pelosi’s visit to the salon is “a slap in the face that she went in.” She continued to disagree saying “that (Pelosi) feels that she can just go and get her stuff done while no one else can go in, and I can’t work.”
San Francisco’s new safety restrictions state that hair salons can now operate outdoors. Yet, certain services including shampooing, color and chemical treatments are still prohibited.
Donald Trump Shares the Story With His Followers
President Donald Trump took advantage of the mishap, and made sure to share the Pelosi story with his Twitter followers. He retweeted a post of the story, as well as a supporter’s response.
On the contrary, Trump has continuously fought for businesses to reopen amid the pandemic. In May, he defended Republican Sen. Ted Cruz when he was under fire for getting a haircut in Texas. In addition, Trump hosted his RNC speech on the White House lawn without social distancing and very few masks.