The mayor of Denver explains and apologizes after traveling to Mississippi for Thanksgiving, although he also urged others to stay home because of the coronavirus epidemic.
Mayor Michael Hancock said he decided to leave town because his wife and daughter are in Mississippi, where her daughter recently took a job.
“As the holiday approached, I decided it would be safer for me to travel to see them than if two of my family members were traveling back to Denver,” he said Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, the mayor tweeted public health guidelines for Thanksgiving that prompted people to avoid the trip if possible – a request the Democratic mayor acknowledged when he explained his own journey.
Hancock’s trip was previously reported Wednesday by NBC’s subsidiary, KUSA in Denver.
On the mayor’s path, Colorado officials warned of the steep rise in Covid-19 cases, which threatens to strain the hospital system, and after the governor and others were warned to keep Thanksgiving gatherings small and safe.
Hancock said in a statement that his family had given up the traditional multi-household Thanksgiving holiday.
The station reported that he had traveled to Houston on the Mississippi Road and that his report tweeted about staying directions about 30 minutes before his flight.
“I note that my decision caused a lot of disappointment for those who think it would have been better to spend Thanksgiving alone,” Hancock said. “As a civil servant whose behavior is being properly investigated for sending a message to others, I apologize to Denver residents who consider my decision to be contrary to the instruction to stay home except for basic travel.”
It is not the first time that a government official has apologized or had to explain his actions as infections increase in the United States and impose stricter restrictions.
Earlier this month, California Governor Gavin Newsom apologized for attending a dinner at the French Laundry restaurant in the wine region with people who don’t live in his household.
My news told me that his wife had been invited to a friend’s 50th birthday party that was bigger than she expected and that I had “made a mistake” and that she should have left.
“It contradicted the spirit of what I was constantly preaching,” Newsom said. He said he and his wife had only been out twice since February and were alone, and that “this was not an exercise I had obeyed in the past.”