Rush Limbaugh Producer Gives Update on Radio Host's Health as He Misses Taping During Cancer Treatment
Limbaugh was diagnosed with lung cancer in late January 2020
Limbaugh's producer James Golden tweeted Wednesday that Ken Matthews would fill in for the controversial conservative host "as he continues to fight the illness."
There was also a fill-in for Limbaugh's Thursday episode. A ticker on the show's official website noted that "it's treatment week and Rush will be off the air today."
Limbaugh, 70, was diagnosed with lung cancer in late January 2020, telling fans while on the air that he would miss some upcoming recordings because of either receiving or recovering from treatment.
He has said that he "first realized something was wrong" around Jan. 12 last year, with his diagnosis later confirmed the following week.
"I wish I didn't have to tell you this and I thought about not telling anybody," he said in a February episode of his show. "I thought about trying to do this without anybody knowing 'cause I don't like making things about me."
Still, he said, "This has happened and my intention is to come here every day I can and to do this program as normally and as competently and as expertly as I do each and every day, because that is the source of my greatest satisfaction, professionally, personally."
In May, the infamously incendiary radio personality grew candid in discussing his third round of treatment for the cancer, which he said was "kicking my a--" and had made him "virtually worthless, virtually useless."
At the time, Limbaugh said he had just begun "week two of this third cycle," though "the impact on the tumor in these three weeks is not expected to be significant."
He added that he had earlier spent four weeks on a drug that had led led to muscle swelling that kept him from walking for four days and "pain from the waist down all the way to the tip of my toes."
The drug, he added, had "bought some time for the next phases to begin, which I am now in, and I just keep plodding away each and every day."
By October, Limbaugh said the cancer appeared to be heading "in the wrong direction" and was "terminal."
"Stage 4 is, as they say, terminal," he told listeners, adding that "it's tough to realize that the days where I do not think I'm under a death sentence are over."
He continued: "We all know that we're going to die at some point. But when you have a terminal disease diagnosis that has a time frame to it, then that puts a different psychological and even physical awareness to it."
Limbaugh rose to national fame in the '90s, when conservative talk radio first began its boom. His provocative style has drawn a huge audience and a huge backlash.
In 2012, for example, Limbaugh attacked a law student named Sandra Fluke after she spoke to a congressional hearing about birth control, calling her a "slut" and a "prostitute."
In 2020, he drew ire when he referred to gay presidential candidate and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg as "Booty Judge" and argued would have electability problems because of his sexuality.
Former President Donald Trump awarded a visibly emotional Limbaugh the Medal of Freedom during his 2020 State of the Union address, praising Limbaugh as "a special man."
The move was criticized, however.
"It's red meat to his base. Trump knows what he's doing," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said at the time. "He wants to assert that Rush Limbaugh is somehow on the same level as Rosa Parks and it's truly nauseating and this is one of the many reasons why I did not go."