Denver Mayor Michael Hancock ignores own Thanksgiving travel advice

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Mayor Michael Hancock had urged Denver residents to stay at home

The Democratic mayor of the US city of Denver has apologised after breaking his own Thanksgiving travel advice.

In a message posted to Twitter early on Wednesday, Michael Hancock urged residents to "host virtual gatherings" and "avoid travel, if you can".

Just hours later, however, it emerged he had travelled to Mississippi to join his wife and daughter for the holiday.

"I apologize to the residents of Denver who see my decision as conflicting with the guidance," he responded.

Millions of Americans are travelling home to celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday, despite warnings from health officials amid a significant wave of coronavirus cases and deaths.

The US has recorded more than 12.7 million infections and 262,000 deaths since the pandemic began.

Acknowledging his decision on Twitter, Mr Hancock said that his wife and daughter were in Mississippi and he "decided it would be safer for me to travel to see them than to have two family members travel back to Denver" for the holiday.

"I recognize that my decision has disappointed many who believe it would have been better to spend Thanksgiving alone," the mayor wrote on Twitter.

"I made my decision as a husband and father, and for those who are angry and disappointed, I humbly ask you to forgive decisions that are borne of my heart and not my head."

Mr Hancock is not the only US official to be caught breaking coronavirus guidance.

Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, has been forced to cancel his own Thanksgiving plans after saying in an interview that he planned to host his 89-year-old mother and his two adult daughters for dinner.

Californian Governor Gavin Newsom, meanwhile, recently faced controversy after he was pictured dining indoors at a restaurant with people from other households.

Media caption,
Dr Anthony Fauci asks families to weigh up the risks of their Thanksgiving plans