“The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg was not able to appear for the long-running show’s season premiere due to an unexpected illness, the show announced on Tuesday.

“As you can see, Whoopi is not here,” Joy Behar, another of the co-hosts, told the audience. “She has COVID. It’s back!” she added.

“But she’s on the mend,” Behar added, according to The Hill. “She’s on the tail-end and she’ll probably be back this week, but sorry she’s not here for those of you who were looking forward to seeing her.”

Goldberg also tested positive for the virus in January just before the show’s return from a holiday break. “Since [Goldberg’s] vaxxed and boosted, her symptoms are fortunately very, very mild,” said Behar at the time.

Last month, Goldberg appeared to imply that Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is attempting to get rid of black people.

The co-hosts charged DeSantis with attacking black people and disregarding their voting rights and history. Their comments are in response to the Florida Department of Education adopting a course on slavery and African-American history.

“Listen. We’ve built the White House, we have — listen. I’m tired of explaining it. I’m tired of explaining it. You know, and just so we’re clear, we’re not going anywhere. We’ve been here, Mr. DeSantis. Many of us have been here for generations. Can you say the same? No, I don’t think he can,” Goldberg declared emotionally.

Here’s a partial transcript:

HOSTIN: “… black people because we built this joint for free. (Applause) That’s what this is about.” [crosstalk]

Goldberg: “Also don’t — don’t forget — don’t forget that this is —“

HOSTIN: “We’ve built the White House.”

Goldberg: “— this is what — this is — we — listen. We’ve built the White House.”

GRIFFIN: “Twice.”

HOSTIN: “Yeah, twice. We’ve built it twice.”

Goldberg: “We have John — listen, we’ve been here — I’m tired of explaining it.”

Goldberg: “I’m tired of explaining it.” (Applause)

BEHAR: “Yeah.”

Goldberg: “You know. And just so we’re clear, we’re not going anywhere. We’ve been here, Mr. DeSantis. Many of us have been here for generations. Can you say the same?”

BEHAR: “I don’t think he can.”

Goldberg: “No, I don’t think he can.” [crosstalk]

HOSTIN: “No, he can’t actually.”

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GRIFFIN: “By the way, he’s — not that this is what matters — he’s undercut his best argument was electability against Trump. I’m the more electable candidate. In the past few weeks alone in addition to this fiasco, around AP black history, he’s also had to let a staffer go for sharing an outright Nazi meme. He’s put out that insane anti-LGBTQ Pride Month video that he’d never I don’t believe denounced, and every day there’s just a new report of like chaos within his campaign. He keeps — and I once — you guys know this. I once liked DeSantis. I was like, ‘Oh, he seems interesting.’ He’s revealing himself and shrinking the pool of potential voters for himself. It is a bad strategy. I think this is a lane, actually. I think Tim Scott or Nikki Haley will overcome him as the number two in the race.”

BEHAR: “But he has overseen gerrymandering in Florida to weaken the black vote also.”

The Florida Department of Education’s course on slavery and African-American history has created a national discussion.

After Vice President Kamala Harris claimed that students would be taught that slaves in the U.S. benefited from slavery, DeSantis, a 2024 GOP presidential contender, invited her to his state to discuss its new educational curriculum.

Florida was hailed as the “number one state in the nation for education,” and DeSantis claimed in a letter he was making record-breaking investments in students, teachers, and schools.

“We are committed to teaching truth, not partisan narratives,” DeSantis wrote, promoting the school choice program. “We have rooted out hateful Marxist theories like ‘Critical Race Theory’ from our classrooms. We have eliminated ‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’ initiatives in school administration and hiring practices. We have, instead, focused on the basics of reading, writing, arithmetic, science, civics, and history.”

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