MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow pleaded with viewers to protect themselves from COVID-19 while revealing that her partner, Susan Mikula, has been sick with the virus. Maddow had to step away from election coverage on November 6 following exposure to the coronavirus. On Thursday, she was back, broadcasting from home, to share an update on herself and her partner. “She is the center of my life,” Maddow began. “She is the organizing principle in my life. My relationship with Susan is the only thing at the end of the day that I will kill or die for without hesitation. And Susan has been sick with COVID these past couple of weeks and at one point we really thought it was a possibility that it might kill her and that’s why I’ve been away.” The anchor says two weeks ago, she tested negative, but Mikula tested positive. They separated and Maddow continued to test negative, but Susan’s sickness progressed. “She’s still sick, but she’s gonna be okay and we’re not scared anymore like we were, but it really didn’t feel like it was going okay at the outset,” Maddow recalled.
“Just believe me: Whatever you have calculated into your life as acceptable risk, as inevitable risk, something that you’re willing to go through in terms of this virus because statistically, hey probably, it will be fine for you and your loved ones, I’m just here to tell you to recalibrate that,” she warned. “Frankly, the country needs you to recalibrate that because broadly speaking, there’s no room for you in the hospital right now.” She cites hospitals being overwhelmed with a “50 percent” increase in patients “in two weeks.” While it may be easy to risk your own life, the virus doesn’t let you make the choice. “What you need to know is whoever’s the most important person in your life, whoever you most love and most care for and most cherish in the world, that’s the person who you may lose and who you may spend weeks up all night freaking out about and calling doctors all over the place and over and over again all night long, trying to figure out how to keep that person breathing and out of the hospital,” she said. “Whatever you’re doing, however you’ve calibrated risk in your life, don’t get this thing.” Maddow is back to her regularly scheduled programming, broadcast from home until she’s able to head back into the studio with the rest of the gang.