DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Mayor Michael Hancock says his decision to fly to Mississippi for Thanksgiving – even as he urged everyone else to stay home – was “unwise and hypocritical.” He says he wanted to be with his daughter for the holiday and acted with his heart and not his head.

CBS4’s Shaun Boyd interviews Michael Hancock. (credit: CBS)

“I recognize that my job as mayor, my job is not only to come up with safe practices for the entire city, but also to lead by an example, and I think by that measure, I failed. It’s a mistake I deeply regret and deeply apologize for.”

Some critics are now calling for Hancock’s resignation. He doesn’t deny that his actions were a case of do-as-I-say and not-as-I-do but, he says, he believes the science behind his message.

“I have stood by science. I have worked very diligently with public health officials to make sure that what we were doing was doing exactly what we set out to do and that was to save our city. As always, I’m human. I made a mistake here, Shaun, but I hope, again, nine months of very hard work and honesty and transparency is not erased.”

(credit: DIA)

The mayor says he didn’t want to disappoint his daughter, and he knows, he instead disappointed those who did follow his advice.

As for whether he’s the best messenger for the city on COVID-19 going forward, Hancock says, “I hope that people listen because at the end of the day the mayor is a vessel for information that scientists and public health officials and medical professionals have advised us on. You don’t come into this space believing that people won’t notice the things you do. I always say as much as it was a mistake, how you respond is just as important. I realize none of this is good enough and I hope the people of Denver will forgive me.”

Per city policy, Hancock will quarantine for 14 days. He says he won’t travel for Christmas.

Shaun Boyd