Rachel Maddow Makes Emotional Return to Hosting While in Quarantine, Reveals Her Partner Nearly Died From Covid: ‘This Thing Is Scary as Hell’


MSNBC host Rachel Maddow made an emotional — and, at times, technically hapless — return to hosting her primetime show, revealing that her partner nearly died from Covid-19 while admonishing her audience to take the virus seriously: “This thing is scary as hell.”

Maddow got a warm welcome from her 8:00 p.m. lead-in host, Chris Hayes, before she launched into somewhat raw and rambling recap of the past two weeks when she has been absent due to self-imposed quarantine.

“I’m not actually in the anchor chair. I’m just kind of floating here in space in my office, but it’s close enough,” she said. “I’m happy to tell you that I’m actually physically fine. It’s just that I’m not that pretty, and as Richard Nixon learned the hard way in his first debate against JFK, makeup actually is a good idea, even a necessary idea when you are going to be in front of a TV camera. The problem is I don’t know how to put on makeup. I don’t use it in my regular life. I don’t know how to do it professionally, and there’s nobody here to help me because I’m still in quarantine.”

Maddow then opened up about her personal life, talking about her quarantine experience and her partner, Susan, who has been infected with the coronavirus.

“I know that this shot looks a little bit weird, and if you think I’m looking, you know, unwell or pale or feverish or something, I am almost done with quarantine if all goes well, but I am following the guidelines, and that means it is still just me here alone,” Maddow explained, before offering a heartfelt dedication to Susan. “And so this is what you get. This is the best I can do. So I’m not going to go on about this at great length. We have a lot to get to tonight, tons of guests and a lot of news going on. But I do— before we jump into all of that, I do want to tell you what happened to me in the hopes that you might take it on as something that might be helpful for thinking about you and your own family. Okay. So if you know anything about me off of TV, if you know me personally at all, then the foremost thing you probably know about me is that I am in love. Susan and I have been together for more than 21 years. It was love at first sight. That has never waned. She is the center of my universe, and it’s not even like she’s the sun and I’m a planet. It’s more desperate and pitiful than that. It’s more like she’s the planet and I’m the satellite up there…”

But at that, the MSNBC host suddenly stopped and complained that something was beeping. She then proceeded to pull off her microphone pack in an attempt to to diagnose the problem. Then, seconds later, she preemptively apologized, saying: “Something’s going wrong. I’ll be right back. Don’t turn the camera off. I’ll be right back, I swear. Hold on. Just stay there.:

She then literally walked out of the shot, leaving viewers staring at her home office.

Moments later, however, she returned, and re-attached her microphone: “This is how the sausage is made. All right. Is that good? Okay. So where was I?”

She then explained that her partner had grown very sick from the virus over the past few weeks.

“And at one point we really thought that there was a possibility that it might kill her, and that’s why I’ve been away,” a clearly agitated Maddow divulged. “Susan tested positive two weeks ago. We separated from each other that day because I tested negative that day. She tested positive. So she and I have both been alone since then while we have — I’ve continued to test. I’ve stayed negative. And she has not only been positive, over this time, she’s gotten sicker and sicker while I tried to care for her while still staying physically apart from her. And the bottom line is that she’s going to be fine. She is recovering. She’s still sick, but she’s going to be okay, and we’re not scared anymore like we were.”

She then concluded her monologue with a plea for her audience to listen to public health experts and take precautions to avoid exposing family and friends to Covid.

“I would have done anything. I would have moved mountains for it to have been me who was sick these past couple of weeks instead of Susan. I still would give anything for that. But this thing does not give you that choice,” Maddow emphasized. “You can’t say, I’m willing to just get it myself and play the odds. You don’t get that choice. It won’t necessarily be you. It will be the person you most care about in the world, and how can you bear that? And all you can do to stop that is move heaven and Earth to not get it and to not transmit it. It is just — again, I’m not going to go on about this at further length. I will just tell you personally this thing is scary as hell, and whatever you’ve been willing to do to risk getting it, don’t. Just don’t do it.”

Watch the video above, via MSNBC.

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