House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is facing criticism for visiting a San Francisco salon without a mask amid the coronavirus pandemic, which pushed the city to prohibit such appointments. As reported by The Hill, Pelosi claimed on Wednesday that she was "set up" by the establishment — eSalon — and refused to take responsibility for breaking the city's COVID-19 guidelines.
"I take responsibility for trusting the word of a neighborhood salon that I've been to over the years many times, and that when they said that we're able to accommodate people one person at a time and that we could set up that time, I trusted that," she said at a press conference in the city.
"As it turns out, it was a set up. So I take responsibility for falling for the set up," she added.
When Pelosi was pressed on a potential apology to service industry workers, the 80-year-old politician pushed back and claimed that the establishment that serviced her owed her an apology.
"I have been inundated by people who are in the hair service industry, saying, thank you for calling attention to this. We need to get back to work. Many of them annoyed at the set up."eSalon owner Erica Kious released the footage of Pelosi in the establishment to Fox News, which was then circulated among the public. According to Kious, she released the footage out of frustration over how businesses in the salon industry were being treated. She also attacked Pelosi's purported hypocrisy for ignoring the rules implemented for Americans during the pandemic.
Pelosi also claimed that she only removed her protective mask while her stylist was washing her hair. As noted by The Hill, this act conflicts with San Francisco's COVID-19 guidelines, which prohibit any service requiring its customers to remove their mask at any time.
Donald Trump has also pounced on the opportunity and criticized Pelosi for her hair appointment. The president accused Pelosi of being a hypocrite and used the incident to highlight the importance of the Republican Party taking back the House of Representatives in November.
In an analysis for CNN, analyst Chris Cillizza argued that the video has provided Trump and his campaign valuable ammunition ahead of the election. Not only that, Cillizza said that this particular misstep gives credence to the criticism the GOP has leveled at liberals for years.
Cillizza also slammed Pelosi for her claim that she wasn't aware of the rules. According to the analyst, the lifelong politician should have been aware of San Francisco's pandemic guidelines.