Hoda Kotb’s enigmatic ‘Today’ absence finally explained on air: ‘Hoda’s OK’

A woman with short brown hair smiling while holding a microphone and wearing a bright yellow coat
Hoda Kotb in a 2022 episode of NBC’s “Today” show.
(Charles Sykes / Invision / Associated Press)

Craig Melvin has assured viewers that his “Today” colleague, Hoda Kotb, is “OK” amid mounting concern over her prolonged absence from the morning program.

Melvin explained on air Wednesday morning that Kotb has been away dealing with “a family health matter.” The esteemed “Today” co-anchor hasn’t appeared live on the show since Feb. 17.

“We know a lot of you have been wondering how she’s doing,” Melvin said while co-anchoring “Today” opposite Sheinelle Jones and Al Roker.

Beloved ‘Today’ co-anchor Hoda Kotb has been absent from the morning show for more than a week, and viewers want answers.


Prior to Wednesday’s show, the beloved newscaster, mother and breast cancer survivor’s mysterious “Today” disappearance had gone unexplained, prompting anxious viewers to speculate about her well-being. Melvin, Jones, Tom Llamas, Willie Geist and other NBC News correspondents have been filling in for Kotb alongside “Today” co-anchor Savannah Guthrie and “Today With Hoda & Jenna” co-host Jenna Bush Hager during her hiatus.

Guthrie was also missing from Wednesday’s broadcast after abruptly exiting the show and testing positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. The veteran broadcaster, who is vaccinated and boosted, has contracted the respiratory illness twice before.

“We are wishing our friend a speedy recovery,” Melvin said Wednesday morning. “We look forward to seeing Hoda and Savannah back here at the desk very, very soon.”

“We love you both,” Roker added.

Sheinelle Jones explained that her ‘Today’ colleague Savannah Guthrie ‘left early’ because she ‘wasn’t feeling great.’ Turns out she had COVID-19.