Jenna Bush Hager Addresses Hoda Kotb’s Mystery Absence from ‘Today’
Jenna Bush Hager finally addressed her Today co-host, Hoda Kotb’s unexplained absence, after the show revealed that the anchor was in the middle of a “family health matter.”
Jenna told viewers at the beginning of Wednesday’s “Today with Hoda & Jenna”—“Willie [Geist] is in for Hoda, and we just want to let you all know that we heard you, and Hoda is OK.”
“She just has a family health matter she is dealing with,” the daytime host added.
Jenna, 41, said — “We adore her, we’re sending our love to her, and she’s going to be back, right here, very, very soon.”
Hoda had been absent for two weeks from both the morning show and her fourth hour slot, before “Today” offered any information.
“We know a lot of you have been wondering how she’s doing. We can tell you that Hoda is OK, [but] she’s got a family health matter that she’s been dealing with,” Craig Melvin, who co-hosts “3rd Hour of Today,” announced.
Craig said that the team looked “forward to seeing Hoda and Savannah [Guthrie] back here at the desk very, very soon.”
Savannah made an abrupt exit during Tuesday’s live show, after learning that she had tested positive for COVID-19.
Savannah contracted COVID-19 twice before, in January 2022 and again in May. The NBC anchor has been vaccinated and boosted against the virus.
“We love you both,” Al Roker added, blowing a kiss to the camera.
Hoda, 58, has been absent from “Today” and “Today with Hoda and Jenna” since February 17. The broadcast journalist co-hosted with Jenna Bush Hager on the Presidents’ Day episode on February 20, which was pre-recorded on the same day as her last live appearance, on February 17.
Hoda has yet to comment on the reason behind her absence, but viewers became worried after she posted several cryptic quotes on social media.
She posted a message that read “choose hope” on Monday. Another quote stated—“Sometimes miracles are just good people with kind hearts.”
Hoda, who shares two daughters — Haley Joy, 5, and Hope Catherine, 3 — with ex-fiancé, Joel Schiffman, also posted messages referencing “strong” and “brave” people finding their way through “dark clouds.”
Hoda has received thousands of messages of love and support from fans.
Carson Daly, Willie Geist from “Sunday Today,” Tom Llamas of “World News Tonight” and “3rd Hour of Today” co-host Craig Melvin have been filling in for Hoda on both the early show and alongside Jenna for the fourth hour.