ABC/Heidi Gutman(NEW YORK) — As concerns continue to mount over COVID-19, which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on Wednesday, The View co-host Joy Behar announced she will be stepping away from the show due to the rising outbreak.
Behar, who is 77, made the difficult announcement during a pre-taped segment that is set to air Friday morning. The comedian said she is excusing herself from the popular daytime talk show for at least a week to reduce her chances of falling ill.
She also told her daughter to do the same thing and partake in social distancing, which is being recommended by health officials to prevent the spread of the virus.
"I’m in a higher risk group because of my age, but I’m perfectly healthy. I don’t look my age, but I’m actually up there. The number makes me dizzy," Behar joked.
As of now, the other three hosts of The View — Whoopi Goldberg, Sunny Hostin and Meghan McCain — have indicated they have no plans to follow Behar's precautionary steps at this time. At this time, the hosts have not tested positive for the virus.
The show is already being taped in front of an empty studio, following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which cautioned against large public gatherings to mitigate the risk of transmission. The View is just one of a barrage of shows that have ceased taping before a live studio audience.
At least 1,663 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the United States. The death toll in America currently stands at 40.
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