Vice President Kamala Harris’ hyped-up live appearance on ABC’s “The View” was thrown into chaos after two of its show co-hosts found out mid-show Friday that they had tested positive for COVID.
After conducting its first segment, where the four co-hosts opened the show complaining about people who are still unvaccinated, as the chyron read, “Experts: vaccinated not as likely to spread COVID,” host Sunny Hostin and Ana Navarro were abruptly told to leave the show’s set and would not return. The announcement came just minutes before Harris was set to be introduced for the widely anticipated live “in-studio” interview.
“I need the two of you to step off for a second,” an off-camera producer told Hostin and Navarro. “We’ll bring you back later. More information later. It’s a tease!”
“Ana and Sunny have to leave,” Co-host Joy Behar said as the two co-hosts rushed off the set. “And we’ll tell you why in a couple of minutes.”
Behar then revealed Hostin and Navarro had tested positive for COVID, calling it a “breakthrough case” since both ladies are “vaccinated up the wazoo.”
“Since this is going to be a major news story any minute now, what happened is Sunny, and Ana both apparently tested positive for COVID,” Behar said. “No matter how hard we try, these things happen. They probably have a breakthrough case, and they’ll be okay, I’m sure, because they’re both vaccinated up the wazoo.”
She then attempted to introduce Harris but was quickly cut off by a producer who shouted, “No!” causing the show to scramble with different options on live TV.
“Ok, shall we dance?” Behar quipped. “Let’s do a tap-dance.”
The show stalled with Behar and fellow c-host Sara Haines doing a live Q&A while backstage; the producers managed to set up a video feed for Harris to attempt to perform the interview. However, the audience was difficult for viewers to hear as they all remained masked while asking their softball questions.
“The secret services are doing things to make her feel safe,” Behar updated the audience. “They don’t want to take a chance with her being on the set. It’s very important to keep her healthy and safe.”
While the widely televised interview was supposed to be Harris’ first “in-studio” interview since becoming vice president, it also comes at lousy timing, following the administration facing dual domestic and international crises. Harris has largely remained silent from the botched handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal of U.S. troops that saw the deaths of last month and the latest turmoil on the border following the surge of Haitian migrants flooded the Del Rio sector and encamped under the bridge in addressing the setback issues.
With less than 10 minutes left to the show, Harris appeared virtually from backstage with the Q&A session becoming a rapid-fire segment and was immediately thrown a softball question from Behar, who asked if it was “time to get tougher” on the unvaccinated.
Haines also tossed Harris an easy one about the “disturbing images of US border patrol agents on horseback inhumanely corralling Haitians at the Texas border,” based on stilled pictures being misconstrued of mounted officials using the long reins as “whips” while apprehending the illegals. The view co-host then asked Harris how she would “explain this.”
“Human beings should not be treated that way,” Harris responded. “It also invoked images of some of the worst moments of our history, where that kind of behavior has been used against the Indigenous people of our country, it has been used against African Americans during times of slavery.”
“I’ve been very clear about the images you and I both saw of those law enforcement officials on horses,” Harris added, calling for “consequences and accountability” for border agents on horseback as she linked them to the horrors of slavery.
Harris was in the ABC building, but the White House claims that she never came in contact with Hostin or Navarro before the show airing.
“The vice president did not have contact with the hosts before the show. Her schedule today will continue as planned,” VP deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh said.