Rachel Maddow got unusually personal on Thursday’s episode of her MSNBC show, explaining that her partner of more than 20 years, Susan Mikula, is recovering from a case of COVID-19 that she thought “might kill her.” Maddow pleaded with viewers to reconsider their holiday plans in order to protect those they love.
“Just, whatever you’re doing, however you’ve calibrated risk in your life, don’t get this thing. Do whatever you can to keep from getting it,” Maddow said, from a remote location, at the top of her show. “For Thanksgiving next week, you’re really going to have to just have it at home, without people coming over. And, yeah, that’s gonna suck, but that is going to suck so much less than you or someone in your family getting this and getting sick. Trust me.”
Maddow’s message got through to at least some of her viewers, who said they had changed their plans after her candid message.
“Your plea for us to think about the people whom we love brought me to my senses,” one person tweeted.
Another, actress and comedian Judy Gold, said she’d called off a trip to New Orleans to see her son play his first basketball game of the season at Tulane University. She hasn’t seen him since June, she noted.
Some viewers explained that they’d already canceled trips, but that Maddow had given them confidence in their choice.
The Nov. 19 show was Maddow’s first since Nov. 6, as she has quarantined, solo, away from Mikula.
“My relationship with Susan is the only thing, at the end of the day, that I would kill or die for without hesitation,” Maddow said. “And Susan has been sick with COVID these past couple of weeks. At one point, we really thought that there was a possibility that it might kill her, and that’s why I’ve been away.”
Maddow said she’s continued to test negative while in isolation.
“[Susan’s] 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,” Maddow said. “And the bottom line is that she’s gonna be fine. She is recovering. She’s still sick, but she’s gonna be OK, and we’re not scared anymore like we were. But it really didn’t feel like it was going OK at the outset.”
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