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Jenna Bush Hager gives update on Hoda Kotb's return as she praises her replacement Willie Geist

The Today star has been absent from the show for nearly two weeks

jenna hoda
Beatriz Colon
Beatriz Colon - New York
New York WriterNew York
2 March 2023
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Hoda Kotb's time away from the Today Show is seemingly coming to an end soon, according to her co-star Jenna Bush Hager.

The former is going on almost two weeks of being off from the popular morning show, her last appearance was a pre-taped President's Day show on Monday, February 21st.

After fans kept urging for an answer on her whereabouts, on Wednesday Craig Melvin revealed a "family health matter" was behind Hoda's absence, and now her 4th Hour co-star has given another, hopeful, update.

WATCH: Hoda Kotb reveals daughter's reaction to becoming a big sister

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As Jenna walked on stage for March 2nd's installment of 4th Hour with Hoda and Jenna, she walked out next to Hoda's occasional replacement, Willie Geist, who typically hosts Sunday Today.

As she made her way towards her usual spot on the news desk, she announced: "We have Willie, he is in for Hoda, who will be back very, very soon," she promised.

MORE: Today Show star Hoda Kotb reveals true opinion on Prince Harry

She went on to praise her temporary co-host for adapting to his new role so seamlessly, telling him: "Can I just say, because you've been here for the last two weeks off and on, your range, going from Morning Joe, to here…" getting a prompt round of applause from the crew working behind the scenes.

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Hoda's co-star gave a long-awaited update on Wednesday

"It's just really incredible," Jenna added, and Willie praised the show in return, telling her: "This show is a breath of fresh air, I love it here."

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The first update on Hoda's absence came on Tuesday, when Craig, Sheinelle Jones, and Al Roker were filling in for not only her but Savannah Guthrie as well, who tested positive for COVID-19 for the third time.

Willie Geist and Jenna Bush Hager on the Today Show© Photo: Getty Images

Willie frequently takes on different roles across Today when another host is absent

Craig addressed Hoda's absence at the beginning of the Today broadcast, telling fans: "As for Hoda, we know a lot of you have been wondering how she's doing," adding: "We can tell you that Hoda is okay."

He explained: "She's got a family health matter that she's been dealing with," before promising: "We look forward to seeing both Hoda and Savannah back here at the desk very, very soon."

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