Rachel Maddow has devoted many of her prime-time monologues to criticism of President Trump over the last four years. Now Ms. Maddow, the top-rated MSNBC host, may not be on the air when her network delivers the final results of his re-election campaign.
For three nights, she had spent hours covering the protracted election, spaced apart from her fellow hosts Joy Reid and Nicolle Wallace “at a physical distance that belies our emotional closeness,” as she put it during an election night broadcast. On Friday, Ms. Maddow said on Twitter that she had gone into quarantine after a “close contact” tested positive for the coronavirus.
“I’ve tested negative thus far, but will be at home quarantining ’til it’s safe for me to be back at work without putting anyone at risk,” Ms. Maddow wrote.
The decision to stay away from the anchor desk will separate her from Ms. Wallace and Ms. Reid, as well as her colleagues Brian Williams and Steve Kornacki, as they monitor the vote count in the six states that NBC News had yet to give to either President Trump or Joseph R. Biden Jr.: Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
Ms. Maddow last appeared before the cameras on Thursday night, when she tweaked Mr. Kornacki over his fondness for khakis and reminded viewers that she and her fellow anchors were not the ones who determined when the network called election results.
After MSNBC quickly cut away from Mr. Trump’s White House briefing on Thursday, citing misinformation, Ms. Maddow wondered aloud whether fact-checking by news organizations “turns Trump-supporting Republicans off mainstream media entirely.”
Ms. Wallace responded that Trump supporters had long since decamped to “a genre that’s far more in line with science fiction.”
On Friday, in her post on Twitter, Ms. Maddow said she was “wishing everyone patience and calm; may these remarkable times bring out the best in all of us.”