Local Reporter Says Coronavirus Victim Died, But Then Changes His Mind Mid-Segment


Phillip Nieto Contributor
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New York ABC7 anchor Bill Ritter had to apologize Monday for claiming a victim of the coronavirus had died when he had actually recovered.

Jack Allard, 26, was in a medically induced coma for five weeks before recovering from the virus, but Ritter claimed Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy had declared him dead. However, when ABC played the clip, the governor actually announced that Allard was alive and well, forcing the anchor to immediately correct himself on live television. (RELATED: Coronavirus Could Be ‘More Difficult’ In The Winter, CDC Director Says)

“It was a long month but slowly Jack rebounded,” Governor Murphy said in the clip. “And last Thursday he was clapped out by the doctors and nurses who saved his life as he walked out of the hospital.”

“For Jack, and for the hundreds more who have left our hospitals, we are hopeful and optimistic.”


“I feel horrible. Jack is very much alive. Jack, we love you,” Ritter responded when the clip ended. “Again, Jack is alive and back home. He has come home not in the figurative sense, but in the quite literal sense. My deepest apologies for that. I was just misread everything and I apologize, but he is alive and we are grateful for that.”

According to John Hopkins University, more than 600,000 people in the United States have recovered from COVID-19. The Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday it would be releasing in-home testing kits to all states within the coming weeks. (RELATED: FDA Authorizes The First Home-Collected Coronavirus Test)