Kamala Harris appeared on Friday's The View, but all hell broke loose on the show moments before when co-hosts Sunny Hostin and Ana Navarro learned they tested positive for COVID-19.
The ABC talk show started by touting the vice president's first in-studio interview — with Joy Behar proclaiming it a "very special day" and Navarro saying they were wearing their best "church clothes" — as Harris was scheduled to sit down with the co-hosts in front of the masked-up studio audience. However, after hitting the "Hot Topics," including the development of the CDC director endorsing the Pfizer Covid vaccine booster shot for a larger group than expected, there was an abrupt schedule change and a frenzy.
The show returned from commercial break and Behar — moderating for Whoopi Goldberg, who was out sick because of sciatica — was introducing Harris. However, she noticed there was "something happening" behind-the-scenes and producers advised interrupted to say that Hostin and Navarro had to leave the set immediately. Behar, in the dark about what was happening, told viewers, "We'll tell you why in a couple minutes."
— Frances Wang (@FrancesWangTV) September 24, 2021
With Hostin and Navarro ushered backstage, Behar asked the producer if she should introduce Harris. She was initially told yes, but then the answer quickly changed to "no." Behar, trying to manage this all on live TV, asking if she should kill time doing "a tap dance." The decision was made to go to commercial.
When they came back, Behar announced, "Since this is going to be a major news story any minute now, what happened is that Sunny and Ana apparently tested positive for COVID. No matter how hard we try, these things happen. They'll probably have a breakthrough case but they'll be OK I'm sure because they're both vaccinated up the wazoo."
The plan was to then clean the set and have Harris come out anyway. After Behar killed even more time like a pro — alongside co-host Sara Haines — taking audience questions, it was announced that Harris would still do the interview, but from a remote spot within the building "just to be safe."
While Harris's interview spot was set up and secret service did their thing, there were even more commercial breaks and more segments answering audience questions in what was certainly among the show's wildest episodes ever in its 25season run.
Finally, with just 10 minutes left of the show, Behar returned saying she was "thrilled" to welcome the first female VP in U.S. history. They immediately talked vaccines, again noting that Hostin and Navarro are expected to fine because they were fully vaccinated, and vaccine resistance in the U.S., despite the death toll. Other topics include the viral photo of Haitian migrants, U.S.'s withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan and the Texas abortion law.
.@VP Harris: "Sunny [Hostin] and Ana [Navarro] are strong women and I know they're fine, but it really also does speak to the fact that they're vaccinated and vaccines really make all the difference because otherwise we would be concerned about hospitalization and worse." pic.twitter.com/m5NMwT5dk8
— The View (@TheView) September 24, 2021
The View immediately started trending on Twitter during the show. While Behar got props for how she handled the live coverage, the show's testing protocol was questioned.
Agreed, #JoyBehar earned an @DaytimeEmmys today she was funny, relaxed and carried the show like a pro. She directed “go to commercial” from her perch and rewrote the whole show off the cuff saying “we’re taking audience questions” brilliant @TheView. Give her all the flowers. pic.twitter.com/krEsV7YGwe
— Cool2B MizLEE (@cool2_b) September 24, 2021
— Sharon Godbolt (@SharonGodbolt) September 24, 2021
#TheView was so incredibly chaotic this morning, but Joy really held it down! Wow!
— Shar Jossell (@SharSaysSo) September 24, 2021
I have to say kudos to Joy Behar of The View for the way she is handling the walk off this morning due to Covid positive tests by Ana Navarro and Sunny Hostin. I don’t care what you say, these ladies rock and I love watching! It’s real live tv.
— Stella Parton (@StellaParton) September 24, 2021
My question is, why were the hosts allowed on stage unmasked before their daily COVID test results had come out? What’s the point of the daily test if the hosts are allowed on stage or in the building if the results are available so late? @TheView #TheView https://t.co/Wi95FPkB2B
— Caroline K (@kcbisou) September 24, 2021
I have a lot of questions about the View sitch this morning. Top of the list: are they really seating the hosts on set before rapid test results are ready?
— Scott McCrary (@Scott_McCrary) September 24, 2021