The Today show anchor reveals she's pregnant—and backs out of traveling to Rio for the Summer Games
Yesterday, the first U.S. athlete officially decided to skip the Olympics because of Zika. Cyclist Tejay van Garderen explained he withdrew from Rio consideration because his wife is pregnant and he didn't want to "take any chances." On the heels of that announcement, Savannah Guthrie became the most high-profile TV personality to opt out of covering the Olympics.
The Today anchor announced that at 44, she's pregnant with her second child, and will thus be skipping the Summer Games in Rio, which would have been her third time hosting NBC's Olympics coverage. "The doctors say that we shouldn't because of the Zika virus so I'll miss it," Guthrie said. "You're going to have to go to female beach volleyball without me, Matt. Try to carry on," she joked to her co-host Matt Lauer.
Guthrie's decision should come as no surprise considering the known birth defects associated with Zika, including microcephaly, a serious birth defect that causes abnormal brain development and abnormally small heads, as well as another abnormality that may lead to blindness. As previously reported, the CDC is currently monitoring nearly 300 pregnant women in the U.S. who are confirmed to have Zika (most of whom contracted the infections while traveling in high-risk areas outside the country), and the CDC recommends that women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant avoid traveling to these high-risk areas.
NBCUniversal has said that employees concerned about traveling to Rio are not required to go, and so far a handful of employees have already declined to take the trip, reports The Hollywood Reporter. As for the Olympians, time will only tell how the athletes continue to respond to the ongoing Zika risk. While some athletes like Hope Solo have already expressed concern, others like Gabby Douglas say "I don't care about no stupid bugs." (And you know, some just plan to stock up on anti-Zika condoms!)