The Real Reason Whoopi Goldberg Was Absent From The View

When it comes to opinions on public safety regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the hosts of the daytime talk show "The View" have largely been unified (with one or two exceptions in the form of ex-host Meghan McCain, that is). In the past, members of the program have done their due diligence in quarantining after threats of possible exposure, like when Sunny Hostin and Ana Navarro were made to change the format for a scheduled interview with Vice President Kamala Harris after both falsely tested positive for the virus, per NPR

While the show's dedication to protecting the health of the "View" hosts and their audience members has largely been admirable, it can also be a double-edged sword — specifically, if one of the hosts happens to be absent. Those same fears came into play on the show's December 15 taping, which revealed Whoopi Goldberg to be conspicuously not in attendance. (Another host, Navarro, was also not present, per Decider.) Luckily, "View" veteran Joy Behar had all the answers about the situation at hand, including an update about Goldberg's health status, along with when Goldberg plans to return to set.

Joy Behar assured fans that Whoopi's absence was only precautionary

During the December 15 airing of "The View," Whoopi Goldberg's cohost Joy Behar assured fans of the daytime show that Goldberg's absence was not an indication that Goldberg was in ill-health (via Decider). "First of all, Whoopi wanted me to tell everyone that she feels fine and healthy, but because she was in close contact with someone who tested positive, she won't be here today and tomorrow," said Behar, referring to safety measures undertaken by Goldberg in response to a possible COVID-19 exposure. 

After reiterating to viewers that Goldberg is "fine," and later stating Goldberg had not tested positive for coronavirus, Behar underscored the show's policy regarding the disease: "if you're near someone who has been exposed and you're positive, you cannot come here." She also noted that Goldberg intended to return to the show as normal later in the week, test results permitting, and that she had already received a vaccine booster shot.

COVID-19 safety measures and masking protocols have been a controversial subject on "The View" in the past. In July, then-host Meghan McCain rallied against masking mandates during a particularly alarming update in cases caused by the delta variant, deriding these preventative measures for inhibiting American freedoms. At the time, her fellow co-hosts lambasted her points on-air. After announcing her intention to leave the show that month, McCain exited the show a few weeks later.