Goldberg missed the popular ABC chat show’s season 27 premiere on Tuesday after testing positive for Covid-19, her cohosts announced.
Despite the clarification, several conspiracy theories appeared online about Goldberg’s health and whereabouts.
“Hey, in spite of everything you’ve heard, and let me just make sure that you know it’s actually me,” Goldberg said over video, removing her mask while speaking to her costars in the studio.
“I am not at Burning Man, I am not still in Italy, I am not trying to change the outcome of the election, I just have Covid,” she said, referencing the various theories about her lack of appearance.
Over the weekend, 70,000 people were instructed to shelter in place at Burning Man festival in Nevada after severe rains flooded the desert venue.
“I have to have a clear test before I can come back, so it might be a couple of days but I’m really thrilled to see the beautiful new desk,” Goldberg explained. “I’m really thrilled to see all the beautiful women. You girls look great and, you know, I can’t wait to get back and hang out. But, until then, it’s me and my mask.”
This marks the third time that the longtime presenter has contracted the coronavirus.
“People write she got the vaccine so how come she still gets it?” Behar said on the show. “Because she’s not dead! She’s just a little under the weather. If you don’t get [the vaccine] and you get the disease you might die.
“This type of irrational talk drives me nuts.”
Goldberg’s diagnosis comes days after first lady Jill Biden also tested positive for Covid, which has spurned right-wing conspiracy theories suggesting that the cases were invented to instigate government crackdowns.
Public health officials are warning that the cases of the virus are rising across the US. Doctors warned that the BA.2.86 variant – dubbed “Pirola” – may continue to spread as it is a highly mutated variant of the Omicron variant, which sparked a surge in cases.
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