Nancy Pelosi, 80, was criticized for visiting eSalon SF in Cow Hollow, San Francisco, California, United States on August 31, 2020 amid the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. On September 2, 2020, the 52nd speaker of the U.S. house of representatives held a press conference in the city to address the issue.
“I take responsibility for trusting the word of a neighborhood salon I’ve been to over the years many times and when they said we’re able to accommodate people one person at a time and that we can set up that time, I trusted that,” Pelosi said. “As it turns out, it was a setup. It was a set up and I take responsibility for falling for a setup.”
Pelosi has a regular stylist who used to work at eSalon SF. The stylist typically goes to the Italian-American Democrat’s house to do her hair.
However, the stylist was not available that day so Pelosi’s staff was referred to another stylist from eSalon SF. Erica Kious, 44, the owner of the salon, rents out chairs to different stylists.
On September 1, 2020, Kious released footage showing Pelosi walking through eSalon SF with wet hair and without a mask covering her mouth or nose followed by independent stylist Jonathan DeNardo, who was wearing a black face mask. Americans found it ironic because the congresswoman from California is known for strongly supporting the use of face mask amid the pandemic.
Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill told CNN that eSalon SF offered for her to come in that day told her San Francisco allowed them to have one customer at a time in the business. He added that the speaker “complied with the rules as presented to her by this establishment.”
Due to the pandemic, local ordinances kept salons closed in San Francisco. Salons in the city had been closed since March 2020 and were allowed to reopen on September 1, 2020 for outdoor hairstyling services only.