The revelation that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) got a "blow-out" at a San Francisco hair salon against COVID-19 regulations is getting lost in the debate over how it happened.

Erica Kious, the owner of eSalon, said Pelosi used her considerable influence with stylist Jonathan DeNardo, who rents space at eSalon, to schedule an appointment to get her hair done on Monday. Hair salons and barbershops in San Francisco have been closed since March due to COVID-19 regulations. Some outdoor only services were allowed to resume on Tuesday.

Pelosi said DeNardo invited her to the salon and that it was her understanding that the salon could take clients one at a time without violating the rules. Kious has produced a screenshot of a text message from DeNardo indicating that Pelosi had requested the visit.

Kious suggested that Pelosi sought special treatment and gave video from a security camera to the media that shows the speaker in the salon without a protective mask. Pelosi said it was all a set-up to embarrass her.

The circumstances that led to Nancy Pelosi and her hair being at eSalon on Monday and whether she was "set up" are not at issue here.

Nancy Pelosi is 80 years old. She is an intelligent woman. Pelosi understands full well that COVID-19 regulations have been in place in San Francisco for many months. She knows that going to the salon for a blow-out is not allowed.

Pelosi also understands that finding a way around the regulations, whether she accepted an invitation or requested the visit, is against the rules. And doing it without wearing a mask was irresponsible.

The rich and powerful make rules for the rest of us to follow – and then they exempt themselves. Nancy Pelosi knows she had no business going to eSalon on Monday. But she went anyway and is defiant in the face of criticism. That is the real issue here.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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