More than $300,000 has been raised for Erica Kious, the San Francisco salon owner accused by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) of a "setup" after the lawmaker was caught on surveillance video visiting the salon in violation of city pandemic rules.
Pelosi had made headlines last week for visiting the shuttered salon to get her hair done despite city guidelines not yet permitting such services. The speaker could be seen on video walking through the salon without a mask.
But after Pelosi claimed she was the victim of a setup, her defenders allegedly flocked online to castigate the salon and its owner.
Kious, a single mother of two, told Fox News' Tucker Carlson last week that she had received "death threats" following the release of surveillance video exposing the powerful Democratic leader.
She added that she would likely be forced to move her business and her family out of San Francisco, a city which she had serviced for more than a decade.
But it turns out that Kious has her fair share of supporters, too. A GoFundMe page created to help Kious quickly began amassing donations. As of Tuesday afternoon, over $314,000 had been raised.
In a post on the fundraising page, Kious wrote:
I wish I could personally thank every person who sent me their prayers, words of encouragement and support, especially at a time when so many are struggling to make ends meet in their own lives.
I am very humbled and grateful to have received such an outpouring of kindness, empathy and generosity from people I don't even know, and from all walks of life and all sides of the political spectrum. It's a powerful reminder that the common things that bind us all together as Americans are far more meaningful and lasting than political and ideological differences that get so much attention and focus.
Today, on Labor Day, we should all focus on celebrating the efforts and achievements of hard-working people everywhere. They deserve our respect and appreciation, and they definitely all deserve an opportunity to get back to work safely and responsibly. That is all this was ever about.
Finally, and most importantly, I want to thank my girls and their loving dad, and all my family and friends (especially Amy Tarkanian) for their support and understanding.
The page was created by Kious' longtime friend, Amy Tarkanian, the wife of former Nevada Senate candidate Danny Tarkanian.
It pledges that all donations will go to "pay off any debts from the business that she is forced to shut down, expenses to relocate and reopen in a new location."
Kious has denied the allegation that she set a trap for Pelosi, calling the claim "absolutely false."