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Denver’s Democrat Mayor Blasted Over His Response To Violating His Own Coronavirus Recommendations
Michael Hancock, Mayor of Denver, USA, attends the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) annual conference in London.
Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty Images

Denver Democrat Mayor Michael Hancock faced widespread backlash on Wednesday after he ignored his own coronavirus recommendations by getting on a flight to allegedly go visit family members after he warned families in his city to not travel because of the pandemic.

30 Minutes before his flight today, Hancock tweeted out a graphic of guidelines from the City of Denver for how people should celebrate Thanksgiving in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Host virtual gatherings instead of in-person dinners,” Hancock said in part. “Avoid travel, if you can.”

After getting caught ignoring his own recommendations, Hancock’s office put out the following statement:

I fully acknowledge that I have urged everyone to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel. I have shared how my family cancelled our plans for our traditional multi-household Thanksgiving celebration. What I did not share, but should have, is that my wife and my daughter have been in Mississippi, where my daughter recently took a job. As the holiday approached, I decided it would be safer for me to travel to see them than to have two family members travel back to Denver.

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. 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.

Mayor Hancock’s statement and actions overall were widely slammed online by people from across the political spectrum.

“Mayor Hancock’s social media post, telling us to avoid travel for Thanksgiving just minutes before he boarded a plane to go see his family, that should be the last time Coloradans hear any public health guidance from Michael Hancock,” left-wing reporter Kyle Clark said on air. “The next pandemic briefing needs to come from a city leader who actually follows the advice that the city gives the public. The mayor’s decision to ignore his own public health guidelines cripples confidence in our shared sacrifices just at the time when the pandemic in Colorado is at its worst.”

“So, on Thanksgiving, as the mayor sits down to a meal with his family out of state, back here, in his city, a health care worker will sit down to rest his feet after a 12 hour shift, a business owner will sit down to figure out how she can keep her employees on the payroll through the holidays, an older woman will sit down to eat Thanksgiving dinner alone because she and her family chose to take the mayor’s advice,” Clark continued. “We have all wanted to do what the mayor did, jump on a plane and go somewhere, hug somebody we love, hand a new baby to a grandparent. We didn’t because epidemiologists and scientists and elected officials begged us not to, not to yet. They asked us to summon all of our strength just to hold on and to not do what Mayor Hancock did.”

“None of this is easy; the mayor’s job is not easy, but these times require leadership, and if they mayor doesn’t want to lead, then he shouldn’t,” Clark concluded.

The following are a small sample of the types of responses that Hancock received online:

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