Deadline posts and deletes 'Mike Pence is Covid-19 positive', but Internet says 'doesn't mean it's untrue'

The article had the headline 'PREP DO NOT PUBLISH UNTIL THE NEWS CROSSES, Vice President Mike Pence tested positive for Coronavirus, 8 days after Donald Trump'


                            Deadline posts and deletes 'Mike Pence is Covid-19 positive', but Internet says 'doesn't mean it's untrue'
Mike Pence (Getty Images)

The Covid-19 pandemic has infected many top-notch officials and close aides of President Donald Trump. Following the Vice Presidential debate, there were also speculations doing rounds on the internet about Vice President Mike Pence contracting the virus. Deadline, a news organization, went a step further and published an article on October 8 saying that Pence has tested positive for the virus. The article was soon taken down and the news outlet served an apology after it caused a frenzy on social media.

The article, screenshots of which were shared on the Internet, sported the headline ‘PREP DO NOT PUBLISH UNTIL THE NEWS CROSSES, Vice President Mike Pence tested positive for Coronavirus, 8 days after Donald Trump'. The article had a byline of Tom Tapp, who is the Deputy Managing Editor of the outlet.

Deadline served an apology on October 8, the same day it published and deleted the article. It posted on Twitter, "Deadline Note To Readers: 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. Apologies to the Vice President and our readers." It also added the link to its website in the Twitter post that further added, "It was pulled down immediately. It never should have been posted and Deadline will take steps to see this kind of thing never happens again. Apologies to the Vice President and our readers. We regret the error."

Vice President Mike Pence waves after speaking during a campaign rally at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport on September 25, 2020, in Newport News, Virginia (Getty Images)

 



 

The article had a picture of Pence, who just took part in the Vice Presidential debate in Utah against Democratic challenger Kamala Harris on October 7. While there has been no news about him contracting the virus, Pence has canceled his October 9 trip to Indianapolis, giving rise to speculations about his health. "Nobody's sick. There are no positive tests," Pence spokesman Devin O'Malley said, according to IndyStar. "The VP is planning on traveling on Saturday and Monday. We'll have more information on the vice president's schedule next week soon." Pence’s office did not serve an explanation on the postponement of the trip and reportedly said the trip would be rescheduled soon. 

People were quick to slam Deadline and poke fun at it for the mistake. Soon the now-deleted article started doing rounds. Many even speculated that Pence tested positive for Covid-19 might be true, given that he has postponed the Indianapolis trip. A user wrote, "The DEADLINE pre-write about Pence having Covid is down. I archived the page. Here's the text." Another said, "How accurate is this headline alleging Pence now has COVID-19? Supposed to be from Deadline."



 



 

A user wrote, "If #TrumpIsPatientZero, Mike Pence may be patient One. 'Never meant to publish' does not mean 'untrue.' What the hell is going on, people? Interesting news from Deadline. Look at his left eye 'Pink eye is a symptom of Covid. #Trump2020 is falling apart!!!! Wake Up Trumpers." One user mocked, "Someone had an itchy posting finger at Deadline." One mentioned that an official statement regarding Pence would do better for damage control. "If Mike Pence doesn’t have COVID, why not release a statement saying he doesn’t have COVID? Sure the Deadline story is suspect, but so is the Pence team abruptly canceling tomorrow’s travel plans."



 



 



 

Another user speculated and shared, "Deadline accidentally posted an article saying that lying bigot Mike Pence has tested positive for the Coronavirus. It may have been their mistake to post it so soon, but I’m inclined to believe he has it which is why he canceled his planned trip to Indiana today." A user quipped, "Poor one out for the Deadline social media manager rn." Another concurred, "Some Deadline intern prolly getting fired." 



 



 



 

One said, "Waiting for the NYT piece to drop to confirm that deadline piece is true and not just a mistake," and another wrote, "Well you’re not saying it’s not true. So why have some thing already typed up and ready to publish if it wasn’t true?" A third one posted, "Not intended to be posted... but it was. So now... is it true or a speculation piece?"

 



 

 



 

 



 

These remarks were made by the internet and individual organizations, MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) cannot confirm them independently and nor does it support these claims being made on the Internet.

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