By Jennifer McRae

DENVER (CBS4)– New video from Denver International Airport shows Denver Mayor Michael Hancock pulling a suitcase before boarding a plane the day before Thanksgiving. This video was taken just minutes after he tweeted a message urging residents to stay home and not travel this holiday.

(credit: DIA)

Hancock’s office confirmed that the mayor flew to Houston with his final destination as Mississippi on Wednesday. He is seen in the video wearing a ballcap and blue shirt and wearing a mask.

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Hancock issued the following statement regarding his personal Thanksgiving travel:

“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.”

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In recent days, Hancock has been spreading the message to not travel this holiday and stay with those in your own household to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

The City and County of Denver entered into Level Red on the state’s COVID-19 dial last week, into the severe risk category.

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Hancock appeared at a news conference with Gov. Jared Polis on Friday and said, “We need everyone to stay home.” During the news conference, he pleaded with residents to stay home during the coming weeks, saying we are “about to enter hardest phase” of the coronavirus pandemic.

Jennifer McRae