Joy Behar, a longtime co-host of ABC’s The View, will not be appearing on the daytime talk show for at least the next week, if not longer.
According to an exclusive report from Variety, Behar will be temporarily stepping away from the program out of an abundance of caution over the coronavirus (COVID-19), which is continuing to spread around the United States.
Behar steps away over coronavirus concerns
The entertainment-focused media outlet made it clear that neither Behar nor anybody else on The View have tested as positive for COVID-19 thus far, and that Behar’s hiatus was simply a precautionary measure to ensure her own safety.
Behar revealed that, at the urging of her daughter, she will be staying home for a while in self-imposed isolation to reduce her risks of contracting the infectious disease.
“I’m in a higher risk group because of my age, but I’m perfectly healthy,” Behar, 77, said on Thursday during the taping of the episode that aired on Friday.
“I don’t look my age, but I’m actually up there. The number makes me dizzy,” she joked.
She revealed that she will take at least this next week off from the program and will then reassess whether she feels comfortable returning to the set or will stay away for an additional period of time.
No studio audience
Variety noted that, at least as of now, Behar is the only co-host so far to step away from the show due to concerns about the new coronavirus.
The other regular co-hosts — Whoopi Goldberg, Sunny Hostin, and Meghan McCain — will all reportedly continue to appear on the show for the time being.
The program took another step to counter the risks posed by COVID-19 by removing the live studio audience that is typically in attendance when the daily program is taped.
Similar measures have been taken by numerous other daytime and late-night programs which will also tape episodes without a live studio audience for the foreseeable future.
This is a smart move for Behar, in light of the fact that the elderly, as well as those with pre-existing underlying medical issues, are more likely to suffer severe cases of the viral illness.