Hoda Kotb has returned to the Today show — and explained her weeks-long absence.
On Monday, Kotb was back at the morning show news desk alongside co-anchor Savannah Guthrie for the first time since Feb. 17. She explained her younger daughter, Hope Catherine, had been sick and hospitalized in the ICU.
“My youngest, Hope, was in the ICU for a few days and in the hospital for a little more than a week,” a choked up Kotb, 58, revealed. “I’m so grateful she’s home. She is back home. I was waiting for that day to come. And we are watching her closely. I’m just so happy.”
Kotb, who didn’t share the reason behind the 3-year-old’s hospitalization, added, “You know what I realized, too, Savannah? When your child is ill, the amount of gratitude you can have for people who helped you out. So I’m grateful for the doctors … who were amazing, and the nurses. I’m grateful to my family and I’m grateful to friends like you,” she said to Guthrie, “who were there every single day. So I want to say thank you for that.”
Earlier in the morning, Kotb shared a quote from the late Superman star Christopher Reeve that said, “Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.”
Kotb was last live on Today on Feb. 17. She later appeared in two pre-taped segments. Last week, when Guthrie was also out — after testing positive for COVID — their colleague Craig Melvin took a moment to explain both their absences on March 1. He said that while Kotb was “OK,” she had a ” family health matter that she’s been dealing with.”
Kotb adopted both her daughters – also Haley Joy, 5 — with ex-fiancé, Joel Schiffman. She and Schiffman ended their engagement in January 2022. She has since praised him as a co-parent.