Ready to recharge. Hoda Kotb is taking another break from Today after daughter Hope’s hospital stay.
The news anchor, 58, was noticeably absent from the Tuesday, March 21, episode of the NBC morning show. Cohost Savannah Guthrie told viewers at the top of the show, “Hoda’s on vacation,” as fellow journalist Craig Melvin filled in. He was also present for the Wednesday, March 22, broadcast.
According to multiple outlets, Kotb is taking a week off from the news program while daughters Haley, 5, and Hope, 3, are on spring break.
Jenna Bush Hager is also enjoying time away from the spotlight, with pre-recorded episodes of Today With Hoda & Jenna reportedly airing until Friday, March 24.
The Oklahoma native previously sparked concern among the Today audience when she was missing from several live tapings beginning on February 17. She seemingly shed light on her state of mind at the time with cryptic messages shared via Instagram, including one quote that read, “Sometimes miracles are just good people with kind hearts.”
Melvin, 43, went on to explain the reason for Kotb’s absence during the March 1 episode of Today. “As for Hoda, we know a lot of you have been wondering how she’s doing. We can tell you that Hoda’s OK. She’s got a family health matter that she’s been dealing with, so we look forward to seeing Hoda and Savannah back at the desk real, real soon,” he said. (Guthrie, 51, had tested positive for COVID-19 on February 28 but later returned to the news desk.)
After several days away, Kotb rejoined her colleagues on camera on March 6 and revealed details about Hope’s ICU stay. “[She was] in the hospital for a little more than a week,” she tearfully explained. “I’m so grateful she’s home. … I was waiting for that day to come. And we are watching her closely. I’m just so happy.”
The I Really Needed This Today author thanked the medical experts who helped her family through their challenging time. “When your child is ill, the amount of gratitude you can have for people who helped you out … I’m grateful for the doctors at Weill Cornell who were amazing and the nurses,” she said. “And I’m grateful to my family.”
Kotb shares her two children with her ex-fiancé, Joel Schiffman, from whom she split in December 2021 after eight years together. The former couple were by each other’s “side” as Hope recovered, a source exclusively told Us Weekly earlier this month.
“Hoda has dropped everything and focused on being there for her youngest — by her hospital bed — and taking care of anything she could need. Hope is better now and recovering at home,” the insider added, noting that Guthrie supported her cohost as well. “Savannah [and Hoda] are truly great friends on and off camera and Savannah was constantly checking in and seeing how she could help in anyway.”