US house speaker Pelosi criticised over visit to hair salon

US house speaker Pelosi criticised over visit to hair salon
Nancy Pelosi (AP)

US house speaker Nancy Pelosi is under fire over a hair salon visit in San Francisco at a time when Californian businesses are limited by concerns over the coronavirus.

However, Ms Pelosi’s spokesman said she was complying with the rules as presented to her by eSalon.

Spokesman Drew Hammill said: “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.

“The speaker complied with the rules as presented to her by this establishment.”

Footage aired by Fox News Channel shows Ms 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 Ms Pelosi wanted a wash and blow dry.

Outdoor haircuts are permitted 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.

Conservatives pounced on the news, casting Ms Pelosi as a hypocrite.

Senate Republicans tweeted: “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.”

Ms Pelosi said 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 to Democratic colleagues on Friday.

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