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 Pence 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 Trump and first lady Melania Trump had contracted the disease.

The vice president tested negative again Wednesday ahead of the vice presidential debate against Sen. Kamala Harris (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 DO NOT PUBLISH UNTIL THE NEWS CROSSES.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 Hicks, senior adviser Stephen Miller 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 Christie (R), former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Thom Tillis (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.

Tags ABC News Chris Christie coronavirus covid-19 DEADLINE Donald Trump Hope Hicks Kayleigh McEnany Kellyanne Conway Melania Trump Mike Lee Mike Pence Stephen Miller Thom Tillis Trump COVID-19 Twitter Utah

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