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The View Apologizes for Broadcasting False Positive COVID-19 Results Live On-Air

Ana Navarro and Sunny Hostin. Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos by ABC

And on this episode of The View, co-hosts Sunny Hostin and Ana Navarro were escorted off set, live and on air Friday, after testing positive for COVID-19. The hosts were seconds away from inviting Vice-President Kamala Harris onstage for an interview. “Ana and Sunny have to leave,” Joy Behar narrated the situation as it unfolded. “And we’ll tell you why in a couple minutes.” Like the showman she is (and since Whoopi Goldberg, the show’s usual moderator, is replaced by recurring host Navarro), Behar tried to get the show on track, but, to be frank, nobody knew how to handle the situation. “Shall I introduce the vice-president?” she asked a producer. “Okay, vice-president — no? Okay, shall we dance? Let’s do a tap dance. Since this is gonna be a major news story any minute now.”

After a break, she explained the positive cases to the room full of viewers and crew. “No matter how hard we try, these things happen,” Behar blurted. “They probably have a breakthrough case, and they’ll be okay, I’m sure, because they’re both vaccinated up the wazoo, you know, a lot of vaccines.” Producers then announced that VP Kamala Harris would still do her interview but remotely from another room. It’s almost like that was the safest option the whole time. “Sunny [Hostin] and Ana [Navarro] are strong women, and I know they’re fine, but it really also does speak to the fact that they’re vaccinated and vaccines really make all the difference, because otherwise we would be concerned about hospitalization and worse,” Vice-President Harris remarked in her brief interview, nine minutes before the show ended. We still have so many questions, like why don’t they get their results back before the show airs? And why didn’t they set up the vice-president remotely before announcing the positive cases to the room? Could not say, but guess this is the poetic cinema we come to The View for, isn’t it?

Update Sunday, September 26: :Page Six is reporting that Navarro and Hostin’s COVID tests were false positives, and the two women are cleared to return to work. A source close to ABC said that they’re “95 percent sure” Hostin will be in studio tomorrow, and Navarro is cleared to come back for her regular Thursday and Friday spots. Navarro posted on Instagram Saturday that after the View fracas, she had tested negative three times. “Obviously what happened yesterday was a false positive, a very public, a very inopportune, a very melodramatic false positive. But fortunately we now tested three times. All three have been negative,” she said.

Update Monday September 27: Haha, sike? After a weekend of COVID-tests, The View co-hosts anonounced Friday’s positive results were not accurate. “I am thrilled to report that Sunny and Ana’s Friday results turned out to be false positives and everyone is safe, healthy, and COVID free,” Joy Behar announced at the top of the show Monday. The View executive producer Brian Teta himself apologized for the “really awkward television” and for the mishandling of COVID-19 results. “It was unfortunate that mistakes were made but I can confidently say that we have very vigorous safety protocols, that everyone is regularly tested, and I’m just so relieved that you guys are healthy, everyone is healthy, and no one was ever in danger,” he concluded. Unfortunately, the implications of broadcasting the false positive went further than bad TV. “My husband is a surgeon, as everyone knows. He was in the operating room and had to be pulled out of the operating because God forbid he’s operating on someone and he’s COVID-positive,” Hostin shared. “My child’s school had to be notified and she had to be pulled out. My parents had to be rushed to be tested and my son was notified at school as well.” At the very least, consider a conversation started.

The View Apologizes for Broadcasting COVID-19 False Positive