Joy Behar, 77, Taking Time Off from The View Over Coronavirus Concerns: 'I’m in a Higher Risk Group'

Joy Behar will be absent from The View for at least the next week over concerns about coronavirus.
The longtime TV host will not be on the daytime talk show next week, and then will decide when she will return to the show, Variety reported Thursday.

“I’m in a higher risk group because of my age, but I’m perfectly healthy,” Behar, 77, says in a pre-taped episode, which will air on Friday.

“I don’t look my age, but I’m actually up there. The number makes me dizzy,” says Behar, whose precautionary decision to stay home came at the urging of her daughter.

Co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Sunny Hostin and Meghan McCain will still appear on the show.

Her decision to not continue filming amid the growing pandemic comes after the ABC talk show went on taping without an audience, due to ongoing concerns about coronavirus.

“It’s a historic day,” moderator Goldberg began Wednesday, sitting alongside alumna Elisabeth Hasselbeck , Behar, Hostin and McCain. “The coronavirus situation is still developing and for the first time ever, as you can see, we made the decision not to have a studio audience.”

Cameras then panned the crowd to show the studio’s completely empty audience.

“This is unprecedented, this has never happened on The View,” Goldberg added, noting that even after the show returned following the September 11, 2011 terrorist attacks, the show returned with an audience.

The View wasn’t the only daytime show to go on without an audience. Syndicated shows Live with Kelly and Ryan and The Wendy Williams Show, both of which tape in New York City, also cut their audiences beginning on Wednesday, too. Both shows, unlike The View, had their production staff sit in the crowd instead.

On Monday, PEOPLE confirmed that both Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune will not have in-studio audiences during tapings amid the outbreak.

Since then, the World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic.

Officials made the announcement on Wednesday, urging world leaders and citizens to take action to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director general, at a press conference in Geneva. “It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death.”

“There’s been so much attention on one word,” he said. “Let me give you some other words that matter much more, and that are much more actionable: Prevention. Preparedness. Public health. Political leadership. And most of all, people.

According to its official website, the WHO defines a pandemic as “the worldwide spread of a new disease.” (Get even more information about pandemics, what defines them and why the coronavirus is one here.)

“Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO’s assessment of the threat posed by this coronavirus,” said Ghebreyesus. “It doesn’t change what WHO is doing, and it doesn’t change what countries should do.”

He added: “We’re in this together, to do the right things with calm and protect the citizens of the world. It’s doable.”

As a result of coronavirus, a growing number of events around the globe have been canceled, including festivals, concert tours, sporting events and movie premieres, among others.

[via PEOPLE]

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