'Today' Show Fans Concerned as Hoda Kotb's Week-long Absence Continues
Hoda Kotb has been absent from The Today Show for well over a week now, and fans are getting concerned. The 58-year-old journalist last appeared live on the show on Friday, Feb. 17, and her extended time away has not been explained. Social media commenters are missing Kotb and are worried about her health and her family amid this unexplained sabbatical.
Kotb has been a staple of The Today Show since 2018 and has rarely spent this much time away from the studio. She appeared live on the Feb. 17 episode of the morning program and then co-hosted the Feb. 20 President's Day episode with Jenna Bush Hager. However, according to a report by Page Six the President's Day episode was pre-recorded on Feb. 17, which means that was the last time she was on camera.
Since then, Kotb's spot has been filled by Today's Craig Melvin, World News Tonight's Tom Llamas, Sunday Today's Willie Geist and Today's Sheinelle Jones. Her co-anchors have not explained Kotb's absence, saying only that Kotb is "out" for the day or that the replacement is "in" for her on that day.
Kotb herself has been filling her Instagram feed with inspirational quotes, some of which fans are trying to interpret as allusions to her absence. So far, Kotb and The Today Show have not commented directly on her absence. Here's a look at what fans are saying online.
Savannah wasn't feeling well & took a COVID test which came out positive, but I agree Hoda's absence is odd.— Lisa (@CinSamuelson) February 28, 2023
Perhaps they both have covid… https://t.co/OMNvNm3XSd— Sari (@MsSariBrooke) February 28, 2023
Many fans fear that Kotb is dealing with a serious case of COVID-19 – especially after her co-anchor Savannah Guthrie tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.prevnext
wish her well, but not worried— bret. swanie (@BretSwanie) February 28, 2023
Some fans felt that "worried" was a mischaracterization, believing that Kotb would be just fine. Still, curiosity about her absence ran wild.prevnext
I sincerely hope Savannah Guthrie will be ok after testing positive for COVID-19 this morning. This will be her 3rd infection (May '22 & Jan '22). I also hope TODAY takes this opportunity to educate viewers on the importance of PREVENTING infections!https://t.co/KRchvjMTfq— Vanessa Sica Kasabach (@VSicaKasabach) February 28, 2023
Public health advocates felt that these absences were an important lesson in COVID-19 prevention. Even with vaccines and treatments available, many believe it is still important to take steps to minimize the chances of infection in the first place.prevnext
I literally just came here to see if I could find anything! It’s so weird! I hope everything’s okay with both of them!— Lindsey Davis (@GrantsMommy1107) February 28, 2023
While Guthrie's departure from the show on Tuesday was explained, fans wondered why no reason had been given for Kotb's absence.prevnext
I think that @hodakotb is BOTH negotiating better contract terms and has welcomed a third child into her life, @jasonmatheson— Peg Roessler (@pegroessler) February 28, 2023
Some fans shared their theories and hope for Kotb as she remains off air. Some wondered if she was renegotiating her contract, which might explain why she has been vague on social media. Others hoped she was welcoming another child into her home.prevnext
MY FRIEND YOU ARE TRULY MISSED!!♥️— catherine powe (@catherinepowe6) February 27, 2023
We miss you…everything seems so secretive, hope everything is good😊— Maxwell🐾bowwow (@maxwell_bowwow) February 27, 2023
Of course, fans left comments on Kotb's posts asking questions about her absence and wishing her well.prevnext
I hope @SavannahGuthrie is okay. @TODAYshow you can’t keep doing this to me. No @hodakotb Now no Savannah? Thank God you have @craigmelvin @SheinelleJones and @WillieGeist— Annie Sadecki (@amsadecki68) February 28, 2023
Finally, many fans posted their appreciation for Melvin, Jones and Geist along with the other fill-in hosts over the last two weeks. The Today Show airs on weekdays at 7 a.m. ET on NBC. There's no word yet on when Kotb might return to the show.prev