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 concerns over coronavirus.
The salon was supposed to be closed, according to the owner — but Pelosi broke the law, anyway.
In a phone interview with Fox News, salon owner Erica Kious said one of her independent stylists that rents chairs in her salon contacted her on Sunday that Pelosi was coming in.
“I’ll be there at 2:45 tomorrow. Pelosi assistant just messaged me to do her hair,” a text message, shared with Fox News, read.
Kious said she “can’t control” what independent stylists at her salon choose to do, and was outraged the find out about Pelosi’s visit — which included a hair “blow out” that is prevented by California’s coronavirus rules.
“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.
“We’re supposed to look up to this woman, right?” she said later. “It is just disturbing.”
Footage aired by Fox News Channel shows Pelosi, her mask around her neck rather than on her face, walking through the establishment. A hair stylist follows her, wearing a mask.
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?
A salon visit whenever she pleases.
A “slap in the face” indeed.
— Senate Republicans (@SenateGOP) September 1, 2020
But Pelosi’s spokesman said she was complying with the rules as presented to her by the salon.
“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.”
“We have been shut down for so long, not just me, but most of the small businesses and I just can’t – it’s a feeling – a feeling of being deflated, helpless and honestly beaten down,” Kious said in her interview. “I have been fighting for six months for a business that took me 12 years to build to reopen. I am a single mom, I have two small children, and I have no income.”
Outdoor haircuts are allowed in California, but indoor salons have not reopened. Blow drying hair is not permitted.
Pelosi said Friday that business lockdowns were the Republican Party’s fault. Conservatives 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.
The Associated Press contributed to this article