NEW YORK - "The View" host Sunny Hostin and guest host Ana Navarro tested positive for breakthrough cases of COVID-19 moments before a Friday interview with Vice President Kamala Harris.
Both Hostin and Navarro were pulled from the set during Friday’s airing of the show, leaving hosts Sara Haines and Joy Behar at the table. Harris, who had planned to join the table, instead was being interviewed remotely from a different room in the ABC studio in New York.
"What happened is that Sunny and Ana apparently tested positive for COVID. No matter how hard we try, these things happen," Behar said after their exit. "They probably have a breakthrough case and they’ll be okay, I’m sure, because they’re both vaccinated."
FILE - Vice President Kamala Harris attends a joint press conference with Hakainde Hichilema, Zambia's president, not pictured, in the Vice President's Ceremonial Office in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Sept. 22, 2021. Photographer: Ken Cedeno/Sipa/Bloo
A breakthrough case is when a fully vaccinated person gets infected with the coronavirus. While breakthrough cases have become more common as the highly contagious delta variant continues to spread, the COVID-19 vaccines have still proven remarkably protective against hospitalizations and deaths.
COVID-19 vaccines work by teaching the body to recognize the virus. If a person is exposed to it after vaccination, their immune system should be ready to spring into action and fight it. If a person does end up getting sick despite vaccination, experts say the shots are very good at reducing the severity of the illness — the main reason to get vaccinated.
"The Vice President did not have contact with the hosts before the show," Sabrina Singh, Harris’ deputy press secretary, told FOX Television Stations.
Singh said her schedule would "continue as planned."
Behar said Harris was removed to a separate location because "they don’t want to take a chance."
Harris did not interact with Hostin or Navarro before the show, a White House official told CNN. Behar said Harris was removed to a separate location because "they don’t want to take a chance."
"It’s very important we keep her healthy and safe," Behar said. "The Secret Service is doing things to make her feel safe."
This was Harris’ sixth appearance on the daytime chat show.
During her appearance, she announced the Biden administration's effort to invest $1.2 billion in broadband access for school children across the country.
"What we know during the pandemic is that our kids lost valuable homework time and school time, so we want to make sure all kids have the opportunity to succeed," Harris said in the interview.
The moment underscored the ever-present dangers of COVID-19 and a sobering reminder of the virus' reach.
Earlier this month, TV host Wendy Williams also tested positive for a breakthrough case of COVID-19.
"The Wendy Williams Show," which was set to begin its 13th season on Sept. 20, announced it would air reruns until the rescheduled season premiere date, Oct. 4, to give the host time to recover.
"To allow Wendy time to quarantine and fully recover and to ensure that our productions abides by all SAG/AFTRA and DFA Covid protocols, we expect to begin the 13th season of The Wendy Williams Show on Monday, October 4th," the host’s Instagram account read.
This news comes as the Biden administration continues to fight to get more people in the U.S. vaccinated.
"The refusal to get vaccinated have cost all of us," President Joe Biden said earlier Friday. "It is not hyperbole: it is literally a tragedy. Don’t let it be your tragedy."
Biden applauded the recommendation by CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky — who overruled an advisory panel — to include approval of boosters for health-care workers or those that have another job that puts them at increased risk of being exposed to the virus. The panel had limited approval to those over 65 years old and those with underlying health conditions.
This story was reported from Los Angeles and Cincinnati. The Associated Press contributed.