Despite Denver Mayor Michael Hancock's guidelines about traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday, he reportedly boarded a plane to Houston on Wednesday. The Colorado capital recently witnessed a record increase in COVID-19 cases.
Denver Mayor Travels For Thanksgiving Despite His Ban
Hancock initially took a flight to Houston before flying to Mississippi to spend time with his wife and daughter.
The mayor then pleaded for forgiveness after being seared for his holiday plans. Moments after persuading Denver citizens to avoid Thanksgiving travel, the city mayor's office confirmed he flew to Mississipi.
According to Hancock's statement released by his office, "I recognize that my decision has disappointed many who believe it would have been better to spend Thanksgiving alone. As a public official, whose conduct is rightly scrutinized for the message it sends to others, I apologize to the residents of Denver who see my decision as conflicting with the guidance to stay at home for all but essential travel."
He remarked he decided as a father and husband. He humbly asked for forgiveness from those he disappointed for following the appeal of his heart, reported Yahoo.
Minutes before Hancock's flight, he advised people on Twitter to "pass the potato, not the COVID" and recommended to host virtual gatherings in place of face-to-face dinners and to alleviate traveling.
His office could not immediately be reached for comment on the holiday plans. According to a spokesperson in a statement, Hancock is not hosting a large family dinner this 2020 but is traveling alone to celebrate with his wife and daughter. The trio would hold a thank-you ceremony at their residence, reported Grantshala.
Experts and officials agree that the reported hypocrisy amounts to an unforced error on Hancock's part and one that risks delegitimizing pleas from public health officials in their attempts to stop the prevalence of COVID-19.
According to Dr. Sandy Johnson, head of the University of Denver's school of global health affairs, in response to the mayor's actions, she found the actions disappointing and that unless there is a dire family emergency, it just seems hypocritical at a time when we need leaders who are role models.
The mayor's office stated he would follow all necessary health and safety guidelines and isolation protocol.
In an e-mail sent out earlier this month, Hancock persuaded his staff not to travel, and anyone who does is required to quarantine for 14 days if they leave Denver. They will be using their own paid leave if their work would not allow them to work from home.
According to the mayor in the reported e-mail, "[A]s the holidays approach, we all long to be with our families in person, but with the continued rise in cases, I'm urging you to refrain from travel this Thanksgiving holiday." reported Sahabat Energi.
Related Article: New Normal: How Long Will We Need to Wear Face Masks?