FACT CHECK: Viral Image Claims To Show Nancy Pelosi Violating COVID-19 Safety Guidelines For Social Gatherings

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims to show House Speaker Nancy Pelosi violating coronavirus safety guidelines by attending a party and not wearing a mask.

Verdict: False

The image was taken in January 2020, over a week before the U.S. confirmed its first COVID-19 case.

Fact Check:

Under phase two coronavirus restrictions put in place by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, indoor gatherings are currently limited to 10 people, and restaurants are limited to operating at 25 percent capacity indoors. Masks must be worn inside public establishments except while eating or drinking, according to the guidelines.

A post on Facebook shares an image of Pelosi gathered around several people. No one appears to be wearing a mask or practicing social distancing. The photo’s caption reads, “Ladies and Gentlemen here’s your speaker of the house enjoying a party after she tells you you can’t have social gatherings.”

Through a reverse image search, however, Check Your Fact found that the image is actually from the Jan. 7 opening of Maialino Mare, a restaurant in D.C. The image was taken by Washingtonian Magazine food editor Anna Spiegel and posted on her Twitter account that same day.

“Nancy Pelosi at Danny Meyer’s Maialino Mare opening in Navy Yard,” Spiegel tweeted along with the photo. (RELATED: Was Nancy Pelosi Pictured With The Manson Family In 1969?)

Pelosi was not in violation of any COVID-19 restrictions in D.C. in the image. D.C. reported its first positive COVID-19 case on March 7, two months after the photo of Pelosi was taken, ABC 7 reported. Bowser then declared a public health emergency on March 11 and issued a stay at home order on March 30, according to DCist.

The novel coronavirus first emerged in China late last year, according to the New York Times. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention didn’t confirm the first COVID-19 case in the U.S. until Jan. 21, over a week after Pelosi attended the restaurant opening.

Pelosi’s office previously addressed claims that she violated COVID-19 safety guidelines in San Francisco in September while receiving a haircut indoors, CNN reported.



Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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