American actress and comedian Joan Rivers was rushed to the hospital Thursday after she stopped breathing while undergoing a minor throat procedure at a New York City clinic.
Rivers, 81, suffered cardiac arrest while at an Upper East Side doctor’s office and was quickly transferred to the city’s Mount Sinai Hospital, according to AP.
She was in critical but stable condition, E! online reported. Rivers’ daughter Melissa, who came to the hospital to be by her mother’s side, said that Rivers was “resting comfortably” and offered her thanks for the “overwhelming love and support” her mother had received over the past hours.
“We ask that you continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers,” Rivers’ daughter said in a statement, according to the Telegraph.
Rivers earlier this week filmed a special 90-minute episode of “Fashion Police” and has a string of appearances scheduled in the coming weeks, followed by a UK tour in October.
Born in Brooklyn and a long-time New York resident, Rivers has spared no one her razor-sharp wit and is considered one of the best at delivering a cutting one-liner with a well-timed zinger.
The E! network reported that the surgery was “a minor endoscopic procedure” performed under sedation to check her vocal cords.
Earlier this month, Rivers, who in recent weeks has been defending Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in interviews, said in defense of her earlier pro-Israel rants that she didn’t want to hear about civilian casualties in Gaza, because “they started it.
Rivers, who said last month that “you cannot throw rockets and expect people not to defend themselves,” said that if “you’re dead, you deserve to be be dead. Don’t you dare make me feel bad about that” on camera to a TMZ reporter who told her almost 2,000 Palestinians have been killed in the conflict. (Israel says 750-1,000 of the dead are Hamas gunmen.)
“Oh my God! Tell that to the people in Hiroshima,” Rivers said with dramatic flair when confronted with the Gaza death toll.
“They were told to get out. They didn’t get out. You don’t get out, you are an idiot. At least the ones that were killed were the ones with very low I.Q.s,” she added.
In a statement released later regarding her exchange with the reporter, Rivers said her words had been “totally taken out of context.”
She clarified, “What I said and stand behind is, war is hell and unfortunately civilians are victims of political conflicts. We, the United States, certainly know this as 69 years later we still feel the guilt of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”
AFP contributed to this report