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

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


By Celine Castronuovo – 10/08/20 08:40 PM EDT

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 PencePence targets Biden over ISIS hostages, brings family of executed aid worker to debate Women cheer on Harris’s ‘I’m speaking’ response in debate: ‘I hope every little girl heard that’ Pence blasts Harris’s ‘non-answer’ on packing Supreme Court 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 John TrumpFive takeaways from the vice presidential debate Harris accuses Trump of promoting voter suppression Pence targets Biden over ISIS hostages, brings family of executed aid worker to debate MORE and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpWhite House security official reported to be gravely ill with COVID-19 Biden campaign to restart negative ads after Trump discharged from hospital Trump works from Oval Office six days after COVID-19 diagnosis MORE had contracted the disease.

The vice president tested negative again Wednesday ahead of the vice presidential debate against Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisFive takeaways from the vice presidential debate Harris accuses Trump of promoting voter suppression Pence targets Biden over ISIS hostages, brings family of executed aid worker to debate 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 DO NOT PUBLISH UNTIL THE NEWS CROSSES.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.” 

TEXT FROM THE DEADLINE ARTICLE ABOUT PENCE GETTING COVID. NOT SUPPOSED TO BE RELEASED YET pic.twitter.com/jPXmC0eT8d

— manny (@mannyfidel) October 8, 2020

For those wondering what mistake Deadline made here it is. They mistakenly published a draft of a story saying Pence has tested positive for COVID. Did they have their Twitter account set to automatically tweet every story that published? pic.twitter.com/Ee6GcA1PjH

— Kim Zetter (@KimZetter) October 8, 2020

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 Charlotte HicksWhite House security official reported to be gravely ill with COVID-19 Internal memo links 34 coronavirus cases to White House: report Poll: Biden neck and neck with Trump in Florida, Arizona MORE, senior adviser Stephen MillerStephen MillerWhite House security official reported to be gravely ill with COVID-19 Internal memo links 34 coronavirus cases to White House: report Trump’s illness doesn’t absolve him of responsibility 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 ChristieRepublican COVID-19 outbreak rocks the 2020 race Doctors, White House staff offer conflicting messages on president’s health Christie checks into hospital after COVID-19 diagnosis MORE (R), former White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayWhite House security official reported to be gravely ill with COVID-19 Internal memo links 34 coronavirus cases to White House: report Poll: Biden neck and neck with Trump in Florida, Arizona MORE and Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeInternal memo links 34 coronavirus cases to White House: report Top Democrats introduce resolution calling for mask mandate, testing program in Senate Trump’s illness doesn’t absolve him of responsibility MORE (R-Utah) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisCunningham uses environmental awards event to apologize to voters Internal memo links 34 coronavirus cases to White House: report The Hill’s Campaign Report: Pence, Harris square off in Salt Lake City 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.

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