(Headline USA) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is getting heat over a solo hair salon visit in San Francisco at a time when California businesses are limited by concern over coronavirus.
Footage aired by Fox News Channel shows Pelosi, her mask around her neck rather than on her face, walking through the establishment.
A stylist follows her, wearing a mask.
The salon owner said she rents chairs to stylists, one of whom let her know in advance that Pelosi wanted a wash and a blow dry.
Outdoor haircuts are allowed in California, but indoor salons have not reopened.
The owner said she considered the service “a slap in the face” to business owners who have been forced to close. From Fox News’ report:
Salon owner Erica Kious, in a phone interview with Fox News on Tuesday, shared details of Pelosi’s visit. Kious explained she has independent stylists working for her who rent chairs in her salon.
“One of the stylists who rents a chair from me contacted me Sunday night,” Kious said.
A screengrab of the text message she received from one of her stylists, and obtained by Fox News, said: “I’ll be there at 2:45 tomorrow. Pelosi assistant just messaged me to do her hair.”
Kious replied: “Pelosi?”
“I was like, are you kidding me right now? Do I let this happen? What do I do?” Kious told Fox News, while noting that she “can’t control” what her stylists do if they rent chairs from her, as “they’re not paying” at this time.
Kious cast Pelosi’s visit as a double standard.
“It was a slap in the face that she went in, you know, that she feels that she can just go and get her stuff done while no one else can go in, and I can’t work,” Kious told Fox News, adding that she “can’t believe” the speaker didn’t have a mask on. (From the footage, it appears Pelosi had some kind of covering around her neck.)
“We’re supposed to look up to this woman, right?” Kious said. “It is just disturbing.”
Conservatives pounced, casting Pelosi as a hypocrite.
“Speaker Pelosi has pushed policies that would keep our economy closed and our small businesses shut down. But for herself?” Senate Republicans tweeted. “A salon visit whenever she pleases.”
But Pelosi’s spokesman said she was complying with the rules as presented to her by eSalon.
“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 spokesman Drew Hammill in a statement. “The Speaker complied with the rules as presented to her by this establishment.”
Pelosi says Republicans could help create the conditions to safely reopen if they would only “listen to the scientists.”
“Republicans are rejecting the funding needed for testing and tracing to crush the virus and safely reopen schools and the economy,” she wrote in a letter Friday to her Democratic colleagues.
Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.