Rachel Maddow says her partner was near-death with COVID, and urges viewers to take precautions against the virus
After taking two weeks off from her MSNBC show, Rachel Maddow returned last night, virtually, in a live-feed broadcast from her home. She revealed the reason for her absence — her partner of 21 years, Susan Mikula, tested positive for COVID-19 and has been battling for her life.
In a rare, emotional, and candid seven-minute segment, Maddow explained just how important Susan is to her life, and how difficult it’s been trying to care for her while remaining separated from her so she doesn’t contract the virus.
“If you know anything about me off of TV — if you know me personally at all — then the foremost thing you probably know about me is that I’m in love,” Maddow said. “Susan and I have been together for 21 years. It was love at first sight. That has never waned. She is the center of my universe. And it’s not even like she’s the sun and I’m a planet. It’s more desperate and pitiful than that. It’s more like she’s the planet and I’m the satellite.”
She then explains the devastation the virus has had on their relationship, particularly because Susan has been seriously ill during the last two weeks.
“My relationship with Susan at the end of the day is the only thing I would kill or die for without hesitation,” she continued. “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.”
She urges viewers to do whatever they can to avoid contracting COVID-19, which is a timely message as many families likely plan to gather from multiple households for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday — despite guidelines from the CDC and various state leaders basically begging people not to do that.
“Don’t get this thing. Do whatever you can to keep from getting it,” she said. “For Thanksgiving next week, you really are going to have to just have it at home without people coming over. And yeah, it’s going to suck, but that’s going to suck so much less than you or somebody in your family getting this and getting sick. Trust me.”
Maddow also discussed the rising number of COVID-related hospitalizations, which are already straining hospital staff, overwhelming healthcare systems nationwide, and causing a shortage of available beds for seriously ill COVID patients.
“There isn’t room for you in the hospital anymore, broadly speaking, so for the sake of your country you really can’t get sick and need to go to the hospital right now,” she said Thursday night. “And the only way to ensure that is to ensure that you do not get infected.”
She concluded her personal plea by trying to get everyone to look at the virus not from their own perspective, but from that of those we love most. It’s impossible not to feel a sense of anguish as we inch closer and closer to the holidays, where people will actively refuse to follow public health recommendations and our healthcare workers will pay the ultimate price.
“What you need to know is whoever is 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,” she said. “Or who you may spend weeks up [with] all night, freaking out about and calling doctors all night long, trying to figure out how to keep that person breathing and out of the hospital.”