New York News Anchor Mistakenly Declares Coronavirus Survivor Dead

New York ABC7 News Anchor Bill Ritter (Credit: ABC7 New York)

A New York newscaster apologized on-air after mistakenly telling viewers a New Jersey man who recovered from coronavirus had died.

WABC-TV evening news anchor Bill Ritter made the bizarre mistake on Monday night while reading a story about star local athlete Jack Allard, 26, who contracted COVID-19.

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Allard, a two-time All-American lacrosse player is a local celebrity, and spent five weeks in the hospital. He recovered and was able to go home last week.

But Ritter said on-air that New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy had announced the young man’s death.

“After spending time on a ventilator and five full weeks in the hospital, the governor announced that Jack has died,” Ritter said over video that showed Allard walking out of the hospital. The segment then cut to a clip of the governor sharing the happy news that “Jack rebounded” and left the hospital.

As soon as the video ended, Ritter admitted he had gotten the story wrong and apologized.

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