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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 PenceDNC gathers opposition research on over 20 potential GOP presidential candidates Pence to give keynote address at National Conservative Student Conference The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Can Cheney defy the odds and survive again? 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 TrumpTrump's Facebook ban to stay in place, board rules Trump allies launching nonprofit focused on voter fraud DOJ asks for outside lawyer to review Giuliani evidence MORE and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpJill Biden a key figure in push to pitch White House plans Petition calls for Jill Biden to undo Trump-era changes to White House Rose Garden Fox News's Bret Baier posts vaccination selfie MORE had contracted the disease.

The vice president tested negative again Wednesday ahead of the vice presidential debate against Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisAlabama museum unveils restored Greyhound bus for Freedom Rides' 60th anniversary Never underestimate Joe Biden Prosecuting the Flint water case 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 DO NOT PUBLISH UNTIL THE NEWS CROSSES.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 HicksUPDATED: McEnany, Fox News talks on pause Trump selects Hicks, Bondi, Grenell and other allies for positions Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis tests positive for coronavirus MORE, senior adviser Stephen MillerStephen MillerSunday shows preview: Biden hits the road to promote infrastructure proposals; US begins withdrawal from Afghanistan Trump speechwriter calls Biden address 'tedious' The Hill's Morning Report - Biden to take stock, revive push for big government 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 ChristieNever underestimate Joe Biden Biden and Trump both have trouble with the truth — and so do the media If Trump runs again, will he be coronated or primaried? MORE (R), former White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayPence urges 'positive' agenda to counter Biden in first speech since leaving office Kellyanne Conway joins Ohio Senate candidate's campaign Mark Zuckerberg, meet Jean-Jacques Rousseau? MORE and Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeRepublicans urge probe into Amazon government cloud-computing bid: report Allowing a racist slur against Tim Scott to trend confirms social media's activist bias Senate passes bipartisan B water infrastructure bill MORE (R-Utah) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisSenate hears from Biden's high-profile judicial nominees for first time Senate Democrats take aim at 'true lender' interest rate rule Former North Carolina chief justice launches Senate campaign 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.