Hoda Kotb Explains Absence

'Today' anchor tells viewers her 3-year-old daughter was hospitalized in intensive care
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2023 6:25 PM CST
Today Host Says Child's Illness Is What Kept Her Off the Air
'Today' co-anchor Hoda Kotb poses with Philadelphia Eagles fan Billy Welsh, center, and Kansas City Chiefs fan John Gladwell last month during a broadcast.   (Nathan Congleton/NBC News’ TODAY via AP)

Hoda Kotb returned to hosting Today on Monday, saying her daughter's illness was the reason for her two-week absence. "My youngest, Hope, was in the ICU for a few days and in the hospital for a little more than a week," she said on the air, per USA Today. "I'm so grateful she's home." Other than saying the 3-year-old was in intensive care, Kotb provided no details about the illness. Co-hosting later with Jenna Bush Hager, Kotb described her daughter as "vibrant and brilliant," per People, but said of the illness: "It was really scary."

"I'm grateful for the doctors at Weill Cornell who were amazing and the nurses," Kotb told co-anchor Savannah Guthrie. "And I'm grateful to my family, and I’m grateful to friends like you who were there every single day." For those who have dealt with a child's illness, she said: "Boy, I thought I understood you. But I didn't." After her daughter's hospitalization, Kotb said, that's changed. "So for every single person going through some stuff, I get it." (More Hoda Kotb stories.)

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