The View : I Was in the Audience When Sunny and Ana Tested Positive for COVID — Here's How It Unfolded
I knew I was going to witness history when asked to attend a live recording of Kamala Harris' first studio talk show appearance as vice president of ABC's The View. And even though I saw history being made at ABC Studios on Friday morning, that wasn't why.
The excitement was palpable upon entering the studio after being thoroughly checked and patted by US intelligence, who was there to ensure the Vice President's safety. As a longtime fan of The View, I naturally took a selfie from my seat before being asked to take a seat closer to the stage. I noticed two women in tiara and sparkling outfits. For many it was a festival.
That is ... until it was no more.
The show began with Joy Behar announcing that Unfortunately, Whoopi Goldberg had to skip the interview with Harris because she was still struggling with sciatica, nerve pain from an injury or irritation to the sciatic nerve. From there, Behar, co-hosts Sunny Hostin and Sara Haines, and guest co-host Ana Navarro started into the Hot Topics segment, with Harris expected to appear after the first commercial break.
To learn more about how Sunny Hostin and Ana Navarro are being asked to leave The View after testing positive for COVID-19 and other top stories, listen to our daily PEOPLE Every Day podcast below.
Behind the scenes, the break seemed to be going smoothly. Haines, 44, had his hair loosened by a member of the hair and makeup team, and Behar, 78, went through her questions for Harris. Navarro, 49, appeared to be in high spirits, engaging with the audience and smiling. At one point, she even approached a couple who revealed to the audience warm-up team that they had just become engaged.
From then on things took a turn.
RELATED: Kamala Harris' appearance turned upside down as Sunny and Ana go on air after positive COVID results
I could feel a slight excitement on set just before The View was due to return from break when Navarro and hostess, 52, both left the set when the cameras were about to roll. Behar and Haines didn't seem concerned, so I figured nothing was wrong. But when they tried to leave the stage, the hostess and Navarro were suddenly escorted back to the table. Both women looked confused as they returned to their seats. Behar kept asking the producers what was going on.
And then they were live.
"Something seems to be happening here that I'm not 100 percent aware of," Behar said when the show resumed. "Can someone please inform me of the situation?"
Hostess and Navarro were then asked - again! - Leaving the set with a producer declaring her sudden absence as a "tease" for what was to come. Behar suddenly announced another commercial break. We watched Behar and Haines alone at the table, both visibly amazed by what had just happened.
After being informed by a producer, Behar then reached out to the audience and informed us that while the show was being recorded, positive COVID-19 test results had been received for the hostess and Navarro. Get the gasp from the crowd - mine included!
RELATED: Watch the moment Sunny Hostin and Ana Navarro are asked to go out of view after positive COVID tests
ANA NAVARRO sunny host in the visual test positive for COVID
The View Sunny Hostin (left), Ana Navarro
There was little time to process what had just happened when the producers began to fret about how to fill the show as Harris was now delayed due to the situation and two presenters were gone. There was talk of whether Harris would now virtually show up from somewhere in the building. The idea of continuing with Hot Topics also came up. Just before coming back from the commercial, producers directed Behar and Haines to keep the show going by answering questions from the audience.
But first Behar had to address the elephant in the room for the audience at home.
"As this is going to be important news any minute now, it has happened that Sunny and Ana appear to have tested positive for COVID," she told the cameras. "No matter how hard we try, these things happen. They've probably had a breakthrough and will be fine, I'm sure because they're both vaccinated."
From there they picked up questions from the audience until they moved on to the next break. During the break, everyone in the crowd raved about what they had just witnessed. The woman next to me told me that she was getting married in two weeks and that she was worried about her health in light of what had happened.
It was still unclear whether Harris would even appear on the show, so I took the opportunity to ask Behar and Haines a question about the chaotic day: "Hello, I would like to know what's on your mind in the light of what just happened? "
The view (2)
"What the hell is going on here?" Haines responded to great laughter while Behar said, "We have an adrenaline rush because we know we need to think on our feet. I have many years of experience thinking on my feet. I was a stand-up comedian for many years."
Then it was time for the next commercial break when we learned that Harris would appear virtually from another room at ABC Studios - and then The View went back to normal!
Harris' performance lasted only 10 minutes, with Harris sending good wishes to Hostin and Navarro, praising both as "strong women".
Kamala Harris on The View
When The View took off the air, both Behar and Haines breathed a loud sigh of relief, with Behar exclaiming "Woah" loud enough that the audience responded with applause and awkward laughter.
A producer came on set to inform everyone that the COVID-19 rapid tests for Hostin and Navarro had just been negative. It wasn't long before the audience was escorted out of the building.
As I went out into the open, still processing what had just happened, reporters stationed outside asked some onlookers about the wild turn of events.
I went straight to the nearest COVID-19 testing facility.
In this article:
Republican strategist and political commentator
49th and current Vice President of the United States
American comedian, television presenter, actress, and writer
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