Mayor London Breed on Wednesday dismissed concerns about video showing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi getting her hair styled at a San Francisco salon, indoors and without a mask, in violation of local coronavirus rules.
The video, aired by Fox News on Tuesday, showed Pelosi inside eSalon. Salons in San Francisco have been closed since March, and were only granted permission to reopen for outdoor service on Tuesday. They may be able to resume indoor haircuts later this month, if city reopening plans go smoothly.
When asked if she was concerned by the apparent rule violation, however, Breed said “We have bigger issues in this country.”
Breed was speaking at a press briefing on COVID-19 measures ahead of the Labor Day weekend, urging residents to take responsibility for the safety of themselves and others. She praised Pelosi for working “day and night” to address COVID and other issues.
“It’s really unfortunate that this conversation has kind of blown up in the way that it has and distracted us from the real issue,” Breed said. “The fact is we don’t have good solid federal leadership that is helping us facilitate this COVID response. Had we had what we needed from day one from this federal administration, then we would not be in as bad a situation as we are.”
The video was shared by the salon’s owner, who told Fox she rents out chairs to independent stylists and was alerted by one of them of the speaker’s visit. She described the visit as a “slap in the face” when she herself was not able to work.
Breed said she sympathized with the frustration of business owners, and noted that there had been a lot of confusion about conflicting reopening schedules and messages between the state and city. She said The City needed to take responsibility for failing to communicate clearly, but noted that all decisions were being made to keep people safe.
“I do understand that the industry is suffering,” Breed said. “I do understand that frustration, I empathize.”
Pelosi herself appeared at an event in San Francisco on Wednesday to discuss school safety issues. When asked about the incident, she called it a “set up.”
“I take responsibility for trusting the word of the neighborhood salon that I’ve been to over the years many times,” she said. “When they said that we’re going to be able to accommodate people one person at a time, I trusted that. As it turns out, it was a set up, and I take responsibility for falling for a set up.”