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Rachel Maddow updates on partner's health after powerful broadcast on her COVID-19 battle

Ahead of Thanksgiving, Maddow shared on-air that her partner of 21 years had become so sick with COVID-19 that she thought the disease might kill her.
/ Source: TODAY

Rachel Maddow is sharing more details about partner Susan Mikula's recovery from COVID-19.

The MSNBC anchor garnered attention last month for revealing in a moving broadcast from her home that Mikula, whom she's been with for 21 years, had gotten so sick that Maddow thought there was a possibility the coronavirus "might kill her." On Wednesday's "The Late Show," Maddow explained to host Stephen Colbert that Mikula is dealing with long-haul symptoms.

"She is OK. She had a real case of it, and like a lot of people who've had symptomatic cases, she's got the long tail of the symptoms, which is true for almost everybody that I know that had it," Maddow said. "She's got the fatigue and the headaches and the cough and stuff lingering, but she's out of the woods in terms of us being scared that she could take a downturn. She's going to be fine."

Maddow added: "It's been a bear to deal with. It was the scariest thing I've ever been through in my life, but she's going to be OK."

Asked by Colbert how the experience impacts the way she covers the coronavirus pandemic on her show, she stressed that she wants people to think about the risk to their loved ones as a way to motivate themselves to comply with COVID-19 protocols.

"The reaction to me talking about this on the air, to me saying, 'Listen, I take this as seriously as anybody, but I just realized that I wasn't that scared about getting it myself, but seeing Susan suffering with it is the scariest thing in my life, and I would now do anything to prevent that sort of risk to her.' ... The way people responded to that made me sort of realize that I think we need to pay closer attention to w hat motivates people and their behavior around risk," she explained.

"People take risks for a reason. It's human nature. It doesn't make you a bad person, but for me it was revelatory to realize I care a lot more about my partner and her safety than I do about myself," she continued. "I realize that was the motivational trip for me, and it made me realize we've got to think about what moves people more than we have been, especially now that we're going to have this vaccine. We're going to have to think about what's going to motivate people to do the right thing around the vaccination program."

Maddow also opened up on fellow MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace's program earlier this week to explain why she decided to speak about a personal experience.

"I hoped I could impart just a sliver of how much I was changed by that experience," she shared.

"Having been so scared for Susan, I will never be the same," she revealed. "It changed my mind about COVID. Actually it change my mind about a lot of things in my life. I am a different person now for having been through that."

She then gave advice to any viewers who are struggling with pandemic fatigue.

"If anybody out there is like me and you're not that scared for yourself but you do love someone, the fear of and the brush with the possibility of losing someone is the most motivating thing in the entire world," she stressed.

"I'd do anything for (Susan), and for a lot of people on this earth, I know there's somebody you'd do anything for. The thing you need to do is not get COVID and not transmit it because they very well may be the one that you lose."