Hoda Kotb Leaves Us Guessing As Lengthy Today Show Absence Continues

Hoda Kotb Watch 2023 began this month after the "Today" show cohost has gone missing from her post since February 17. Although it's customary for the various "Today" hosts to pre-tape episodes on President's Day, as Kotb and co-host Jenna Bush Hager did this year for "Today with Hoda and Jenna," Kotb has yet to return live. Her cryptic social media posts in her absence haven't calmed fans' worry. On February 23, after missing two days of live shows, Kotb shared to Instagram an illustration of a horse and child from the book, "The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, and The Horse." Featuring the quote, "One day you will see just how brave you've been," Kotb captioned alongside the image, "Happy Wednesday ... here's to the brave ones."

The journalist remained active on social media the whole week despite her on-air absence (offering no explanation online to fans for it, either). Sharing another passage from the same book to her feed the next day, Kotb's post included a passage about dark clouds moving on eventually. Fans began to express their concerns in her comment section, with one writing, "Hoda, how are you? Are YOU OK? Love you." Rounding out the week with a post about strong women, Kotb offered no personal insights aside from the string of inspirational messages. 

With Kotb keeping the motivational posts coming throughout the weekend, everyone is now questioning her "Today" absence even louder now.

Hoda Kotb's unexplained absence has fans worried for her well-being

Hoda Kotb has been missing from the air for over a week now. NBC News anchor Sheinelle Jones co-hosted "Today with Hoda and Jenna" alongside Jenna Bush Hager on February 27, raising fan concerns to a new level. Similarly, her "Making Space" podcast missed its weekly release date on February 27, as well. 

Given the content of her recent, consecutive Instagram posts, viewers are hoping the veteran journalist was just enjoying a well-deserved break. "Please someone tell us if everything is ok? Or is she on vacation?," one such fan asked on Twitter. Another sent love to Kotb and her two daughters, Hope and Haley, tweeting that Kotb's hiatus was hopefully "all for a good reason and if not, I pray you (& the girls) are ok. Stay strong Hoda." One observant fan pointed out that "I noticed on your last day you left during the show" and added, "Made me think maybe you were sick. Respecting your privacy, but hoping you are well." Others have simply pleaded that Kotb "come back."

In addition to Kotb herself, her regular "Today" co-hosts, Hager and Savannah Guthrie have stayed mum on the reasoning behind her continued absence, merely stating that she was "out."

Hoda Kotb has a past of leaving the show unannounced

Hoda Kotb has previously worried fans with unexpected absences from the "Today" show in the past. In 2021, she was absent from the show and wasn't active on social media. It was revealed that she was on a wellness retreat, and her phone was taken away for the length of the trip. She mentioned that the retreat made her more present and in the moment, and it made her realize how addicted she had become to her cellular device.

And in September 2019, the morning show host took a lengthy maternity leave. "I've had the best five months I ever could've imagined in my life," she said on her first day back since being absent. "I didn't know what I was missing. And I was also excited to come back." She mentioned that she "felt a little bad" about leaving her co-anchors and not doing her job, but she enjoyed her much-needed time off. "In reality, life is a blink and you get this moment, so I decided I was going to take it," she added. And with the recent absence from Kotb, fans are thinking she's on maternity leave again.

Hoda Kotb could be adopting another baby

On February 27, Hoda Kotb shared a cryptic message on Instagram. She posted a painting that said, "Choose hope," and added two red heart emojis in her caption. This made fans wonder if she was planning to adopt another baby, and she's possibly taking some time off of the "Today" show to adopt and take care of the child.

Kotb and ex-fiancé Joel Schiffman have adopted two children already. They were planning to adopt their third child, but the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the process back. The pair announced their split in January 2022, and at the time, they still had not gone through with the adoption.

On February 28, Willie Geist had to step in for Savannah Guthrie, who had to leave early, which only furthered the questioning about what was going on with the "Today" show hosts. It was later revealed that Guthrie left because she wasn't feeling well — and she tested positive for COVID-19.