Rachel Maddow Returns to MSNBC Show With Emotional Tribute to Partner Struggling With COVID-19

Rachel Maddow MSNBC Anchor
Art Streiber/MSNBC

Rachel Maddow

Maddow's partner Susan Mikula's battle with COVID-19 was so serious that they thought the virus might kill her.

In an emotional return to her eponymous MSNBC show Thursday night, Rachel Maddow revealed that her partner Susan Mikula has been battling COVID-19 and that at one point it was so serious they thought she might die from the virus.

On Nov. 6, Maddow told her audience that she was taking an enforced two-week quarantine after coming into close contact with someone who had tested positive for the virus. The close contact, Maddow said Thursday, was her partner of more than 21 years, Mikula.

Describing Mikula as the "center of [her] life," Maddow said that after her partner tested positive, they were separated and that she began to get "sicker and sicker" and it became really serious. "At one point, we really thought it was a possibility it might kill her and that’s why I’ve been away," Maddow said.

Maddow, who continues to test negative for the virus and was broadcasting from home, relayed the heartache of trying to care for Mikula while being apart from her, but added that her current prognosis is more hopeful and that she will likely recover.

Speaking directly to the audience, an impassioned Maddow implored people to take the virus more seriously, if not for themselves, then for their loved ones.

"Don’t get this thing. Do whatever you can to keep from getting it," Maddow said. "For Thanksgiving next week, you really are just going to have it at home without people coming over. Yeah, that's going to suck, but it's going to suck so much less than you or someone in your family getting sick. Trust me," she added.

On returning to the studio to host her show, Maddow didn’t offer a return date, saying that she won't return "until it’s safe to be around my co-workers."