Hoda gets emotional after powerful interview about her beloved New Orleans

New Orleans has always held a special place in the heart of Hoda Kotb, so the grim toll of the corona virus in that city has hit her particularly hard.

The TODAY anchor became overwhelmed with emotion after an interview TODAY Friday with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees about how the pandemic has plagued the Crescent City.

Hoda, who is deeply rooted in New Orleans, completed an interview with Brees about his decision to donate $ 5 million to help residents of Louisiana in need during the pandemic when she started crying.

“I’m sorry,” she said, taking a moment to gather.

“Hoda, I know it’s a lot,” Savannah Guthrie said on the air. “Hoda, I’m so sorry, honey. Take a moment. It is much. I know where your heart is, honey, I do. “

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The emotional moment touched TODAY fans across the country related to the tension and anxiety they feel from the corona virus pandemic.

“It’s comforting to see how others feel the way I feel,” tweeted a TODAY viewer. “Random tears at random times. Thank you for being real, @hodakotb! I know @SavannahGuthrie I just wanted to give you a hug and me too! “

“I love that Hoda showed her emotions!” someone else wrote. “There are only so many people who can record this day after day. She was crying for all of us. “

Jenna Bush Hager, Hoda’s co-host on TODAY with Hoda & Jenna, was also touched by the moment when she watched from home.

“This is why I love it so much @hodakotb: all heart, all compassion, “Jenna tweeted. “She can’t be anything but who she is. As my aunt said, her tears were for all of us. “

By the end of the next segment, Hoda was back to her smiling self and shouted out her 3-year-old daughter Haley’s teacher.

But it’s clear that hearing the New Orleans problems caused by COVID-19 struck a chord.

Thursday afternoon was the Louisiana Department of Health reported more than 2,300 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. 83 people died across the state, making Louisiana’s death toll the highest in the country

Hoda worked as an anchor and reporter for a CBS affiliate in New Orleans from 1992-98 and has maintained close ties to the city, serving as Grand Marshal at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in 2016 and passionately taking root for Brees and the Saints every NFL season.

Hoda, who worked alone in Studio 1A at Rockefeller Center during the coronavirus crisis, later reflected on her emotional moment with Savannah during the fourth hour of TODAY.

“I also think you look around a little bit to hug someone, just because, and you realize well, that’s part of it,” said Hoda. “The new normal, we’re getting used to it.”

“It’s not forever,” said Savannah. “I’ll hug you awkwardly (when this is over) … I won’t stop hugging you. ‘

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