Today Show co-host Hoda Kotb got emotional on Friday morning after talking to New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees about his $5 million donation to Louisiana, as COVID-19 cases have spiked in the state in recent days. Kotb broke down in tears about the generous donation, and her co-host Savannah Guthrie (who is self-isolating at home) attempted to console her.
Kotb was in the studio all alone at 30 Rockefeller center while speaking to Brees via satellite, and at the end of their conversation she told the NFL star: “I actually think a lot of things are contagious, including generosity. Our hope is that because you let us know you made this big generous donation, other people can look and say, ‘Hey, maybe I can help out too.’ Drew, we love you.”
We love you, Hoda. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/rocZr8J4EE
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) March 27, 2020
Brees – who made the donation with his wife, Brittany – responded to Kotb by saying, “Love you too, Hoda.” At that point, Kotb broke down. Guthrie immediately stepped in and said, “Oh, Hoda…I know it’s a lot. I know where your heart is, my dear.”
Kotb talked with Brees was about how hard COVID-19 has affected Louisiana, with Brees explaining that the state thrives on small businesses and the hospitality industry. He pointed out how bad New Orleans has been hit, and he explained that when he and Brittany think about residents’ basic needs they started with making sure families are fed.
"You sort of look around for someone to hug just because." Hoda reflects on the emotional moment she had after her interview with Drew Brees. pic.twitter.com/RWRXfrs6vF
— TODAY with Hoda & Jenna (@HodaAndJenna) March 27, 2020
Kotb – who was an anchor at WWL-TV in New Orleans for six years – and Brees also discussed the similarities between the current situation and Hurricane Katrina. The football player – who Kotb described as “kind of like the mayor of New Orleans” – advised people in Louisiana to hang in there and maintain hope because they have obviously been through a lot of tough times together.
“Whether it’s hurricanes, oil spills, floods, and this is just another one of those bits of adversity that we’re going to come out better on the other side,” said Brees.
When Savannah Guthrie realized that Hoda Kotb was too emotional to take the segment into a commercial, she took over for her friend so she would have time to compose herself and finish the broadcast. Later in the show, Guthrie told Kotb that “we all get it,” and sometimes “those moments just come out of nowhere.”