Hoda gets emotional after powerful interview about her beloved New Orleans


New Orleans has always held a special place in Hoda Kotb's heart, so the grim toll of the coronavirus on that city has hit home particularly hard for her.

The TODAY anchor became overwhelmed by emotion after an interview on TODAY Friday with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees about how the pandemic has ravaged the Crescent City.

Hoda was finishing up an interview with Brees about his decision to donate $5 million to help feed Louisiana residents in need during the coronavirus pandemic when she started to break down in tears.

"I'm sorry," she said, taking a moment to gather herself.

"Hoda, I know it's a lot," Savannah Guthrie said on the air. "Hoda, I'm so sorry, hon. Take a moment. It's a lot. I know where your heart is, my dear, I do."

The emotional moment touched TODAY fans across the country who related to the strain and anxiety they are feeling from the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's comforting to see others feeling just how I'm feeling,'' a TODAY viewer tweeted. "Random tears at random moments. Thank you for being real, @hodakotb! I know @SavannahGuthrie just wanted to give you a hug and so did I!"

"I love that Hoda showed her emotions!" another person wrote. "There is only so much people can take reporting this day after day. She cried for all of us."

By the end of the next segment, Hoda was back to her smiling self, giving a shoutout to her 3-year-old daughter Haley's teacher. But it's clear that hearing about the troubles in New Orleans caused by COVID-19 struck a deep chord.

Hoda worked as an anchor and reporter for a CBS affiliate in New Orleans from 1992-98 and has maintained close ties to the city, whether it's serving as grand marshal at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure or rooting for Brees and the Saints with her family.

Originally published