Deadline accidentally publishes story about Pence being diagnosed with COVID-19

Online news website Deadline on Thursday admitted to accidentally publishing a draft story that incorrectly stated that Vice President Pence tested positive for COVID-19. 

“A draft post of a story about Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceGiuliani led fake electors plot: CNN The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems look to repackage BBB into salvageable bill Pence to deliver keynote at fundraising banquet for South Carolina-based pregnancy center MORE testing positive for coronavirus that was never meant to publish was accidentally posted on Deadline,” the news organization said in a statement on its website roughly 30 minutes after the story had been posted. The outlet added that the article was “pulled down immediately.”

“It never should have been posted and Deadline will take steps to see this kind of thing never happens again,” the statement continued. “Apologies to the Vice President and our readers. We regret the error.” 

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The vice president tested negative for the virus each day from Friday to Monday after news broke early last Friday morning that President TrumpDonald TrumpJudge rules Alaska governor unlawfully fired lawyer who criticized Trump Giuliani led fake electors plot: CNN Giuliani associate sentenced to a year in prison in campaign finance case MORE and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden clarifies his remarks on Russia Raskin: Grisham told Jan. 6 panel about 'names that I had not heard before' Grisham says former Trump officials meeting next week 'to try and stop him' MORE had contracted the disease.

The vice president tested negative again Wednesday ahead of the vice presidential debate against Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisTlaib blasts Biden judicial nominee whose firm sued environmental lawyer These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Trump by the numbers: 2024 isn't simple MORE (D-Calif.) in Utah. 

The draft Deadline story, which also appeared to have been shared on the outlet’s Twitter page, included the headline, “PREP. DO NOT PUBLISH UNTIL THE NEWS CROSSES. Vice President Mike Pence Tests Positive for Coronavirus 8 Days After Donald Trump.”

Multiple screenshots of the draft story shared by Twitter users appeared to report that “The two most powerful men in America now have coronavirus.” 

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While the vice president has not tested positive for the virus as of Thursday, several other members of Trump’s inner circle have contracted the virus in the past week, including top Trump aide Hope HicksHope HicksPennsylvania Republican David McCormick launches Senate campaign McCormick drawing support from Trump alumni ahead of Pennsylvania Senate bid Fauci on Fox's Jesse Watters: He 'should be fired on the spot' MORE, senior adviser Stephen MillerStephen MillerThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks, Senate balks Pennsylvania Republican David McCormick launches Senate campaign McEnany sits down with Jan. 6 investigators MORE and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany

Several people who attended a White House Rose Garden ceremony for the official nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court have since tested positive for the virus. Attendees of the event were seen on tape and in images with no masks in close proximity to one another. 

Among them are former New Jersey Gov. Chris ChristieChris ChristieTlaib blasts Biden judicial nominee whose firm sued environmental lawyer Some in GOP begin testing party's lockstep loyalty to Trump The 10 Republicans most likely to run for president MORE (R), former White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne ConwayPennsylvania Republican David McCormick launches Senate campaign McCormick drawing support from Trump alumni ahead of Pennsylvania Senate bid Christie says Trump, Meadows should have warned him of positive COVID-19 test MORE and Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Senate panel advances bill blocking tech giants from favoring own products Schumer ramps up filibuster fight ahead of Jan. 6 anniversary MORE (R-Utah) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisOvernight Energy & Environment — Starting from 'scratch' on climate, spending bill Hillicon Valley — Senate panel advances major antitrust bill Senate panel advances bill blocking tech giants from favoring own products MORE (R-N.C.).

According to an internal Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) memo obtained by ABC News Wednesday, an estimated 34 White House staffers and “other contacts” have been infected with the virus in recent days.