SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a point of taking a walk through San Francisco's Chinatown on Monday to show that it is safe, after some merchants have seen a 50% drop in business as some fear they could be exposed to the coronavirus.
As her visit began, a large portion of Chinatown had lost power. That didn't deter the Speaker from walking along Ross Alley and Grant Avenue.
"I'm here," she said. "We feel safe and sound with so many of us coming here. It's not only to say it's safe but to say thank you for being Chinatown."
The first stop was the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory.
"We want people to care about our small businesses and our survival here," said Betty Louie, who is the retired manager of China Bazaar and whose family has operated six retail stores.
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"Hopefully they'll take heart and come down here. We've got a lot of great places for people to see,"
The owner of The Wok Shop on Grant Avenue was thrilled when the Speaker dropped in and purchased a wok. The store has been operating for 52 years.
The power came back on during her visit, which was a good sign.
"That was the best thing she could do," said owner Tane Chan. "It's safe. It's wonderful. We welcome everybody. Come. Keep coming."
The walk ended with a stop for lunch at a restaurant called Dim Sum Corner. The Speaker sat at a long table surrounded by Chinatown community leaders.
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Pelosi was critical of the President's proposal to cut $1 billion out of the CDC's budget at a stressful time as coronavirus containment efforts are underway. However, she expressed confidence in federal health leaders.
"I trust Dr. Fauci at the National Institutes of Health, and he seems to have confidence in what we are doing," she said.
The Speaker says there's no reason for people to live in fear.
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