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Why Is Hoda Kotb Absent From 'Today' Weeks After Daughter's Hospitalization?

hoda kotb jenna bush hager arent filming new episodes today
Source: Nathan Congleton/NBC)

Mar. 22 2023, Published 11:45 a.m. ET

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When viewers tuned into Today this week, they were surprised to see that Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager's hour was a pre-recorded episode — but an insider assured there's no behind-the-scenes drama to blame.

Instead, the women are just taking a vacation, with Kotb caring for her two daughters since they're currently on spring break.

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hoda kotb jenna bush hager arent filming new episodes today
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Their downtime comes not long after Kotb, 58, took a two-week hiatus to care for her 3-year-old daughter due to a scary hospitalization. The mom-of-two discussed the ordeal when she returned to Today on March 6.

"My youngest [daughter], Hope, was in the ICU for a few days and in the hospital for more than a week," she revealed. "I’m so grateful she’s home. We are watching her closely. I am just so happy."

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"You know what I realized ... when your child is ill, the amount of gratitude you can have for the people who helped you out ... I’m grateful for the doctors and the nurses," the TV star gushed to her costars. "I’m grateful to my family and to friends like you who were there every single day. I want to say thank you for that. I love you."

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Though Kotb is currently single, ex-fiancé Joel Schiffman pitched in as much as possible to help care for the tot.

"Hoda had been terrified for Hope the last couple of weeks," the source said at the time. "Hoda has dropped everything and focused on being there for her youngest — by her hospital bed — and taking care of anything she could need. Joel has been by their side as well."

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One an episode from Today last week, Kotb revealed Oscar winner Jamie Lee Curtis reached out and sent Hope — and her sister Haley, 5 — gifts to keep their spirits up.

"I was opening packages in my apartment last night, all of the Amazon stuff that you get. And Jamie Lee, I open the package and inside I saw two teddy bears and a beautiful 'My Hand in Yours' that you had given to my girls," she recalled, referencing the actress' company that donates money to Children's Hospital Los Angeles. "I thought to myself, ‘In the middle of her shining moment in her life, she is sending something to me and my kids,’" continued Kotb. "And I can’t tell you how touching and how beautiful I thought that was."

Page Six reported on the reason behind Kotb and Bush Hager's absence.

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