Denver mayor flies to visit family for Thanksgiving, despite telling people to avoid travel

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (D) boarded a flight on Wednesday to Houston, going against his warnings that people should avoid traveling for Thanksgiving this year and try to stay close to home if possible, with coronavirus cases spiking across the country, NBC 9 News in Denver reported.

According to 9 News, Hancock’s spokeswoman confirmed that the mayor was traveling to Houston on Wednesday to visit his daughter in Mississippi, and that his wife is already there.

30 minutes before his flight, Hancock tweeted that people should “avoid travel, if you can” in order to fight against the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“As he has shared, the Mayor is not hosting his traditional large family dinner this year, but instead traveling alone to join his wife and daughter where the three of them will celebrate Thanksgiving at her residence instead of having them travel back to Denver,” a statement from the mayor’s spokesperson reads. “Upon return, he will follow all necessary health and safety guidance and quarantine.”

Additionally, 9 News obtained an email in which Hancock’s assistant said the mayor would be out of office from Wednesday to Friday.

In a November 18 email sent to city staff, per 9 News, the mayor wrote, “as the holidays approach, we all long to be with our families with person, but with the continued rise in cases, I’m urging you to refrain from travel this Thanksgiving holiday. For my family that means cancelling our traditional gathering of our extended family.”

Hancock also said in this email that anyone who travels out of state should quarantine for 14 days and that employees who can’t work from home will need to use their paid time off for the leave, 9 News added.

As of Wednesday, there have been 33,971 total coronavirus cases in Denver and 494 deaths. This all comes as the seven-day moving average of new cases in the county is 688, according to the Denver Public Health COVID-19 monitoring dashboard, .

Furthermore, one in 41 Coloradans is currently infectious with COVID-19, which the highest level since the pandemic began, Gov. Jared Polis (D) said on Tuesday.

This also comes after the governor of California, Gavin Newsom (D), was caught breaking his own COVID-19 restrictions by attending a birthday dinner that had more guests than legally allowed in that area of California and had to publicly apologize last week.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom apologizes for attending guideline-breaking party, says it was a ‘bad mistake’

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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