Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is an unwise and deeply regretful hypocrite.
Those are his words, not ours.
“It was unwise, it was hypocritical, it was a mistake that I deeply regret and deeply apologize for,” Hancock told Denver’s 9News over the weekend, four days after he flew to visit family in Mississippi for Thanksgiving.
Roughly 30 minutes before his flight took off from Denver International Airport on Wednesday, Hancock’s Twitter account urged followers to “avoid travel” and instead attend virtual Thanksgiving gatherings in a bid to “pass the potatoes, not COVID.”
Pass the potatoes, not COVID.
🏘️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
— Michael B. Hancock 😷 (@MayorHancock) November 25, 2020
The tweet was the final word in a message he’d spent weeks evangelizing.
“As 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,” Hancock wrote in an email to city employees the week prior. “For my family that means cancelling our traditional gathering of our extended family.”
Hancock has been doing the mea culpa rounds ever since his flight landed, although he has rebuffed calls to resign.
“I fully acknowledge that I have urged everyone to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel,” he said Wednesday in a statement. “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.”
Hancock went on to apologize and ask for forgiveness.
“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,” he said in the statement.
The apologies continued Saturday after he returned to Denver, where he is now in self-quarantine for 14 days.
Hancock told CBS Denver he has no travel plans for Christmas.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.