We finally have a reason for Hoda Kotb‘s lengthy absence from Today.
The veteran NBC broadcaster — who has been conspicuously and mysteriously MIA from Today and Today with Hoda and Jenna since mid-Febrary — has been dealing with a “family health matter,” the show announced on air Wednesday morning.
“We can tell you that Hoda has a family health matter that she’s been dealing with,” her colleague Craig Melvin explained. “We look forward to seeing Hoda and Savannah [Guthrie] back on the desk,” he added, referencing Guthrie’s recent COVID-19 diagnosis.
NBC relied on substitute co-hosts — including Today 3rd Hour‘s Craig Melvin and Sheinelle Jones, NBC News Now‘s Tom Llamas and Sunday Today‘s Willie Geist — to fill the void.
Kotb’s cryptic social media activity during her Today absence only compounded concerns that something is amiss. On Feb. 27, she shared a graphic on Instagram that read, “Choose hope.” A day earlier, she wished her 2.2 million followers a “Happy Sunday,” alongside a graphic that read, “Sometimes miracles are just people with kind hearts.”
“[The] Today show just isn’t the same without you,” wrote one commenter on Instagram. “I hope you’re OK. But boy if they are letting you go… people are going to drop like [flies].” Added another: “Worried about you. Hope you are missing from Today for a happy reason.”
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