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 PenceHere's how presidents move into the White House in just hours on Inauguration Day New York court worker arrested, accused of threats related to inauguration Meghan McCain: Trump's legacy is DC looking like a 'war zone' 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.” 


The vice president tested negative for the virus each day from Friday to Monday after news broke early last Friday morning that President TrumpDonald TrumpLil Wayne gets 11th hour Trump pardon Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Trump expected to pardon Bannon: reports MORE and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpHere's how presidents move into the White House in just hours on Inauguration Day Ashley Biden says Melania Trump has not reached out to Jill Biden CNN poll: Melania Trump leaving office as least popular first lady ever MORE had contracted the disease.

The vice president tested negative again Wednesday ahead of the vice presidential debate against Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisScalise bringing Donna Brazile as guest to Biden inauguration McConnell, Schumer fail to cut power-sharing deal amid filibuster snag Howard University's marching band to escort Harris at inauguration 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 DO NOT PUBLISH UNTIL THE NEWS CROSSES.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.” 



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 HicksTrump selects Hicks, Bondi, Grenell and other allies for positions Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis tests positive for coronavirus Women set to take key roles in Biden administration MORE, senior adviser Stephen MillerStephen MillerCensus Bureau racing to complete noncitizen data, watchdog says Trump must concede as a holiday gift to the nation Pompeo to quarantine after contact with someone COVID-19 positive 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 ChristieSenator releases photos of man wanted in connection with Capitol riot Press: Only one week left, why impeach him twice? The Hill's Morning Report - House to impeach Trump this week MORE (R), former White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayGeorge Conway: Trump's 'influence will wane as he fades into history as a pariah' Pence's relationship with Trump fractures in final days Kellyanne Conway condemns violence, supports Trump in statement on Capitol riots MORE and Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeRepublicans wrestle over removing Trump Lawmakers, leaders offer condolences following the death of Capitol Police officer GOP senators urging Trump officials to not resign after Capitol chaos MORE (R-Utah) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisDemocrats see Georgia as model for success across South McConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time Seven Senate races to watch in 2022 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.