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

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

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

“We know many of you have been wondering how she’s doing,” Melvin said as she co-anchored “Today” opposite Sheinelle Jones and Al Roker.

Prior to Wednesday’s show, the mysterious disappearance of the beloved newscaster, mother and breast cancer survivor had gone unexplained, leading anxious viewers to speculate about her well-being. Melvin, Jones, Tom Llamas, Willie Geist and other NBC News correspondents replaced 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 leaving the show and testing positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. The veteran announcer, who has been vaccinated and boosted, has contracted the respiratory illness twice before.

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

“We love you both,” Roker added.