On Thursday, Limbaugh announced he would not “be able” to host his nationally syndicated radio show on Friday due to “the security nature of things,” adding that he was heading to “parts unknown.”
After CNN’s Brian Stelter shared the news on Friday, noting that Mark Steyn was filling in for Limbaugh, Today meteorologist retorted, “Wait. What?”
Earlier in the week, Roker was one of those quick to admonish Limbaugh’s controversial comments that the media is purposefully creating “fear and panic” about Hurricane Irma to “advance this climate change agenda.”
“Do not listen to @rushlimbaugh when he says #Irma is not a dangerous #storm and is hype,” Roker wrote on Twitter. “He is putting people’s lives at risk.”
He added in a second tweet, “To have @rushlimbaugh suggest the warnings about #Irma are #fake or about profit and to ignore them borders on criminal. #ShameOnRush.”
President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club, also located in Palm Beach, is also being evacuated in advance of Irma’s landfall.
In Limbaugh’s Monday comments about the hurricane, he claimed, “There is a desire to advance this climate change agenda, and hurricanes are one of the fastest and best ways to do it. You can accomplish a lot just by creating fear and panic.”
“You don’t need a hurricane to hit anywhere,” he asserted. “All you need is to create the fear and panic accompanied by talk that climate change is causing hurricanes to become more frequent and bigger and more dangerous, and you create the panic, and it’s mission accomplished, agenda advanced.”
Limbaugh further told listeners on The Rush Limbaugh Show that “These storms, once they actually hit, are never as strong as they’re reported.”
On Tuesday’s show, Limbaugh doubled down on his comments, lashing out in his own defense and slamming “the media.”
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“The media takes every extreme that is in a forecast such as this and runs with it as though it is gospel,” he said. “And then they hype it and hype it and hype it. And then they tie it to climate change, and they tie it to whatever. And it’s not the hurricane center doing that. That is the media.”
Limbaugh told his listeners that he was “simply explaining to people how it works,” claiming that, “There’s corruption everywhere in our politics, and it is epitomized during national disasters and emergencies because the left is always working on moving their agenda forward, climate change, radical environmentalism, and so the occasion of this hurricane is an exciting thing for them!”
Several hurricane watches and warnings have been issued for parts of Florida, and The Weather Channel reported early Friday that Irma will likely hit South Florida directly this weekend.
“It’s not a question of if Florida’s going to be impacted, it’s a question of how bad Florida’s going to be impacted and where the storm ends up,” FEMA official William Long told The Washington Post. Evan Duffey, a meteorologist with AccuWeather, further told PEOPLE that winds of at least 130-156 mph will cause a “catastrophic amount of danger” to Florida.