Mayor's holiday travel prompted a nationwide backlash.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock appears to be on an apology tour upon returning to the Mile High City from his Thanksgiving trip to visit family.
The mayor initially sparked controversy after traveling by plane to Mississippi to spend the holiday with his wife and daughter. Prior to his trip, he had strongly urged Denver and Colorado residents to avoid travel unless it was absolutely necessary because of growing COVID-19 concerns in the metro area and the state. He also encouraged virtual gatherings instead of family get-togethers for Thanksgiving.
The mayor's Twitter account posted this message the same morning he was flying to meet family:
Pass the potatoes, not COVID.— Michael B. Hancock 😷 (@MayorHancock) November 25, 2020
🏘️Stay home as much as you can, especially if you're sick.
💻Host virtual gatherings instead of in-person dinners.
❌Avoid travel, if you can.
🍲Order your holiday meal from a local eatery.
🎁Shop online with a small business for #BlackFriday. pic.twitter.com/acQpWs2Ism
A local news station was tipped off to his trip, which he had not made public, and it spurred a nationwide backlash over his decision. In a tweet the day before Thanksgiving, addressing his decision, Hancock said, "I recognize that my decision has disappointed many who believe it would have been better to spend Thanksgiving alone...I made my decision as a husband and father." The tweet apology sparked a lot of responses, many of whom were disappointed in the mayor for what they felt were hypocritical actions.
Upon his return, Mayor Hancock has since met with several news stations to discuss his decision and offer his thoughts. In addition, he issued an apology email to staff on Monday, November 30. The email, in part, reads (courtesy of the Colorado Springs Gazette):
“First, I want to say that my decision was unwise and hypocritical – a mistake that I want to deeply apologize for. My job as Mayor is to not only help come up with safe practices for the entire city. It’s also to set an example, and on that measure, I failed.
I know that many people in Denver did follow my advice and weren’t able to see their family on this holiday. To all of those people, I offer my deepest apologies.
To try and make amends, I traveled back to Denver as soon as I could. I will, as I had already planned to do, go into a self-quarantine until I am confident through testing that I am not infected,” the mayor said. “But I realize that none of this is really good enough and I am hoping that the people of Denver can forgive me. All of us want this virus behind us and I will continue to do everything I can to regain your trust.”
Many upset constituents have called for Hancock to resign. He has said multiple times that he has no plans to step down at this time.
What do you think of Mayor Hancock's holiday travel and subsequent apologies on the subject? Let us know in the comments.