The mayor of Denver was forced to apologise after flying to Mississippi to spend Thanksgiving with his family – shortly after urging residents to follow official advice and remain at home because of the coronavirus. 

On Wednesday, Michael Hancock shared pandemic Thanksgiving advice on Twitter, advising people to “Pass the potatoes, not Covid”, by staying home as much as possible and by being sure to “avoid travel”. About 30 minutes later, according to 9News, the Democrat ignored his own advice, and that of city and federal officials, by getting on a plane to spend the holiday with his wife and daughter.

The Colorado city – which has recorded 34,212 cases and 515 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University – has officially urged residents to celebrate Thanksgiving only with immediate members of their households and not to travel. Dr Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious diseases expert, has also warned of the dangers of traveling over Thanksgiving. Hancock apologised and said his decision was “born of my heart and not my head”. He said: “I fully acknowledge that I have urged everyone to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel … 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.