Sunny Hostin and Ana Navarro were abruptly asked to leave the stage of The View live on-air Friday morning just as Joy Behar was introducing Vice President Kamala Harris. When the show returned from an impromptu commercial break, Behar revealed that both co-hosts had just tested positive for COVID-19.
“There seems to be something happening here that I’m not 100 percent aware of,” Behar said after returning from the show’s first break. “Can someone please apprise me of the situation?”
At that point, a voice from off-camera asked Hostin and Navarro to “step off for a second.” When Behar asked if she should introduce Harris as planned, one producer’s voice replied “yes” while another shouted “no!”
Then, after another commercial break, Behar explained to the audience what was going on.
“OK, since this is going to be a major news story any minute now, what happened is, Sunny and Ana both apparently tested positive for COVID,” she said. “No matter how hard we try, these things happen. They probably have a breakthrough case. They’re both vaccinated up the wazoo!”
Behar promised that the vice president would still join any minute after the table had been “wiped down.”
What followed was a chaotic attempt to take questions from masked audience members without microphones. “This is called live television,” Behar joked as the situation further deteriorated.
At one point, the show’s producer informed both Behar and her remaining co-host Sara Haines that they would be interviewing Harris “remotely”—even though she was in the building—out of an abundance of caution. But each time the show returned, she was nowhere to be seen.
For a show known for chaos, the mishegoss on Friday, as Behar put it, reached a whole new level. With just 10 minutes left to go in the hour, they finally welcomed a “remote” Harris, who did not seem as thrilled to be there as she might have been under different circumstances.
“Before we go into the pandemic question that I have for you, I just want to say, I hope that you’re in a safe spot right now,” Behar began. “We did everything we could to make sure you’re safe because we value you so much.”
“Thank you, Joy, and to everyone and, listen, Sunny and Ana are strong women and I know they’re fine,” Harris said. “But it really does speak to the fact they’re vaccinated and vaccines really make all the difference because otherwise we would be concerned about hospitalization and worse.”
Asked if it’s time to get “tougher” on mandates and “make life less pleasant for the unvaccinated,” the vice president merely said that Americans should “be responsible,” adding, “Folks just need to get vaccinated.” She did not suggest that the Biden administration needed to take any further action to push the unvaccinated to get the shot.
On the question of Haitian migrants being corralled by border patrol agents on horseback, Harris says she was “outraged” by the images she saw.
“It was horrible and deeply troubling,” she said. “There’s an investigation being conducted, which I fully support, and there need to be consequences and accountability. Human beings should not be treated that way and it also invoked images of some of the worst moments of our history where that kind of behavior has been used against the indigenous people of our country, has been used against African-Americans during times of slavery, and so I’m glad that the Department of Homeland Security secretary is taking it very seriously.”
Behar and Haines squeezed another couple of questions into the final minutes of the show, but it was hardly the long, substantive interview with the vice president they had teased all week.
“Please come back, we want you back,” Behar told Harris at the end of the show. “And I promise you, it’ll be different.”