NBC Today show anchor Hoda Kotb had just finished her interview with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees Friday morning when she was suddenly overcome by emotion. The two had been discussing the devastating toll COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has taken on New Orleans, the city Kotb called home throughout the '90s. Brees explained his decision to donate $5 million to feed struggling Louisiana residents before he signed off—at which point Kotb began to cry.
Kotb apologized as the tears came on, and co-anchor Savannah Guthrie said, “Oh, Hoda. I know. It’s a lot. I’m so sorry, hon. Take a moment. It’s a lot. I know where your heart is, my dear. I do.” Guthrie went on to read the tease for an upcoming segment as Kotb gathered herself.
Later in the segment, after Kotb had composed herself, Guthrie took a moment to reflect. “So many people, I don’t know if you’ve looked online or anything, I bet you haven’t, but so many people are sending love to you, Hoda, and just saying, we all get it. There’s just moments where it just gets you from out of nowhere, and I think all of us understand that. Everyone feels a lot of pressure right now.”
“And I think the other thing, too, is you sort of look around for someone to hug just because,” Kotb replied. “And you realize, OK, that’s also part of it. But anyway. The new normal! We get used to it, right?”
Guthrie replied with perhaps the most important thing to remember: “And it’s not forever.”