Lifestyle & Human Interest

Al Roker Misses Famous Event for First Time in 27 Years as He Recovers from Major Blood Clots


Long-time “Today” show weather anchor Al Roker revealed last week that he’d been away from the show for two weeks because he was hospitalized for blood clots — which led this week to his missing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time in more than a quarter of a century.

“For the past 27 parades, at this moment, Savannah, we would turn to Al Roker, who is our Today show colleague and our best pal,” co-host Hoda Kotb said during coverage of the event, according to People. “But as a lot of you have heard, Al’s recovering — he’s recovering very well from a recent medical issue. And we just want to say, we love you Al. Wondering if you’re watching, but we wish you a full recovery.”

“We love you, Al. We’ll see you next year,” Savannah Guthrie responded before introducing NBC meteorologist Dylan Dreyer, who stood in for Roker this year.

For his part, Roker seemed to be taking it all in stride — at least according a video he posted to Instagram yesterday.

“All right, this is my version of the Thanksgiving Day Parade, getting ready to leave the hospital,” he said as we walked down a hospital corridor. “Time to blow this taco stand. Woo-hoo!”

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He later posted a picture of himself watching from home as Guthrie and Kotb covered the event.

Roker had also used Instagram to inform viewers about his health issues last week.

“So many of you have been thoughtfully asking where I’ve been,” he posted on Nov. 18. “Last week I was admitted to the hospital with a blood clot in my leg which sent some clots into my lungs.

“After some medical whack-a-mole, I am so fortunate to be getting terrific medical care and on the way to recovery,” he added. “Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers and hope to see you soon. Have a great weekend, everyone.”

Roker posted a similar message on Twitter.

Roker missed work in September after being diagnosed with COVID and experiencing “mild symptoms,” according to the Boston Herald.

NBC meteorologist Bill Karins filled in on “Today” to cover Hurricane Ian’s landfall in Florida on on Sept. 28.

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This time around, his spot has been filled by Dreyer.

Last year, Roker famously received live on-air the COVID-19 vaccine developed under former President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed program.

Blood clots are often, but not always, the result of injury, according to the Mayo Clinic.

“This process may be triggered by an injury or it can sometimes occur inside blood vessels that don’t have an obvious injury,” according to the organization’s website.

Some COVID-19 cases also result in complications like blood clots.

No specific information regarding the cause of Roker’s condition was reported.

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George Upper is the former Editor-in-Chief of The Western Journal and was a weekly co-host of "WJ Live," powered by The Western Journal. He is currently a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. A former U.S. Army special operator, teacher and consultant, he is a lifetime member of the NRA and an active volunteer leader in his church. Born in Foxborough, Massachusetts, he has lived most of his life in central North Carolina.
George Upper, is the former editor-in-chief of The Western Journal and is now a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. He currently serves as the connections pastor at Awestruck Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a former U.S. Army special operator, teacher, manager and consultant. Born in Massachusetts, he graduated from Foxborough High School before joining the Army and spending most of the next three years at Fort Bragg. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in English as well as a Master's in Business Administration, all from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He and his wife life only a short drive from his three children, their spouses and his grandchildren. He is a lifetime member of the NRA and in his spare time he shoots, reads a lot of Lawrence Block and John D. MacDonald, and watches Bruce Campbell movies. He is a fan of individual freedom, Tommy Bahama, fine-point G-2 pens and the Oxford comma.
Foxborough, Massachusetts
Beta Gamma Sigma
B.A., English, UNCG; M.A., English, UNCG; MBA, UNCG
North Carolina
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Business, Leadership and Management, Military, Politics