Fact check: Photo does not show that Speaker Pelosi violates coronavirus rules

Thousands of social media users are sharing a photo claiming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was allegedly shown at a party during a ban on social gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the photo was taken in January 2020 before the US first reported infections of the virus and months before restrictions were put in place to limit its spread.

Reuters fact check. REUTERS

The post (here) shows a photo of Pelosi at a gathering surrounded by at least eight people who do not socialize or wear masks. The captions say, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, here’s your house speaker enjoying a party after she told you you could not have social gatherings.’

As of December 16, 2020, the daily death rate from COVID-19 in the United States has exceeded 3,000 people, and the total number of coronavirus deaths in the United States has reached more than 304,000 (here). Local restrictions have been imposed to stop the spread of coronavirus: public gatherings are restricted (up to ten people in Washington DC) or banned in some areas (including Pelosi’s home state of California) and people are advised to distance themselves and wear masks ( coronavirus.dc.gov/phasetwo, here, here).

The photo of Pelosi was taken on January 8, 2020 by the food editor of Washingtonian magazine at the opening of the Maialino Mare restaurant in Navy Yard, Washington DC (www.maialinomare.com/), as seen here on Twitter. here and here .

The first case of COVID-19 recorded in the United States was on January 21, 2020 (here), and the District of Columbia limited public gatherings to less than 50 people on March 16, 2020 (here), while Washington DC its issued first residence. home order on March 30 (coronavirus.dc.gov/stayhome). All of these restrictions were imposed months after this photo was taken.


Untrue. The photo of Pelosi during the opening of a restaurant surrounded by humans was taken in January 2020 before the first cases of the new coronavirus were reported in the US and before restrictions were put in place to limit the spread of the disease.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.