The resident nurse on set of The View has been reassigned from her job after a fiasco in which two presenters were hauled off set after testing positive for COVID, minutes before Vice President Kamala Harris was due to appear on stage.
Wendy Livingston, who worked as the show’s health and safety manager, has now been moved to work in a different role within ABC following the September 24 incident, according to a report.
Her ouster was revealed by The Daily Beast on Thursday, with the vice president’s close brush with the virus blamed for Livingston’s departure.
Harris’s team was said to be furious about the debacle.
Wendy Livingston, a registered nurse, was overseeing the COVID testing for the hosts of The View. On September 24 Kamala Harris’s interview was thrown into chaos when two of the co-hosts tested positive for COVID. They were later shown to have had false positives. Livingston reportedly no longer carries out the role, but she is still employed by ABC
Two co-hosts, Ana Navarro and Sunny Hostin (right) are pictured on September 24 being pulled off set just before Kamala Harris was due to appear
Harris was set to sit down on September 24 with the program’s stars for a lengthy interview, before Hostin and Ana Navarro ‘tested positive’ for COVID at the eleventh hour.
Hostin and Navarro had been sitting on stage alongside co-hosts Joy Behar and Sara Haines shortly after 10am as they prepared to welcome Harris to their table.
But the introduction was dramatically interrupted by the executive producer, Brian Teta, who yelled for Hostin and Navarro to leave the room – leaving Behar to explain to the audience what had happened.
‘Sunny and Ana both apparently tested positive for COVID. No matter how hard we try, these things happen,’ she stated.
‘They probably have a breakthrough case and they will both be okay, I’m sure, because they are both vaccinated’.
Their sudden departure left Behar and Haines scrambling to fill air time.
The pair spent several minutes taking viewer questions in scenes described by one columnist as ‘an absolute trainwreck’.
Harris was eventually set up in a back room, and conducted a shortened interview with Behar and Haines remotely.
Her team were said to be furious at the debacle.
Harris eventually conducted a shortened interview via video link from another room at ABC’s New York studios. Her office is said to be ‘deeply concerned’ about the incident
On Thursday multiple sources told The Daily Beast that Livingston, a registered nurse, has since stopped performing her medical duties with the show, but is still a network employee.
‘Wendy has not been fired,’ an ABC spokesperson told the site.
‘She remains a part of the health & safety team supporting testing and vaccine verification.’
One source told CNN that Harris’s team insisted The View hosts have a PCR test 24 hours before her scheduled interview.
A rep for show went back to the VP’s office on the eve of the show, telling them that the tests were ‘all clear’.
The co-hosts looked stunned as they received the news ahead of the highly-anticipated interview
It eventually turned out that Hostin and Navarro were actually not actually COVID positive.
A slew of subsequent tests returned negative results.
The main reason for false positive results are laboratory error and what is known as an ‘off-target reaction’ – the test reacting with something other than COVID-19.
A PCR test, which stands for ‘polymerase chain reaction,’ is considered the gold standard of testing, using a method of repeatedly copying a segment of genetic material.
It is used to quickly amplify tiny amounts of DNA fragments so that they can be studied in more detail.
The analysts look for a genetic marker that is unique to a particular pathogen, giving scientists more certainty in the results.
An analysis by ICD 10 Monitor last year found that the false-positive rate with PCR tests was between 0.2 and 0.9 per cent.
Livingston was given effusive praise by her co-workers on The View on May 9, to mark National Nurses Week.
Livingston was praised by the hosts of The View in May, to mark National Nurses Week
Joy Behar, one of the co-hosts, described her as ‘a health-care hero’.
‘When New York City’s ER’s were filled to capacity at the start of the pandemic, registered nurse Wendy Livingston volunteered at a pop-up hospital to deal with the overflow of COVID patients and help the homeless and mentally compromised population with managing the virus,’ said another co-host Sunny Hostin.
‘And from the day she joined The View as health and safety manager, she’s been vital to keeping us on the air, making sure we’re following COVID-19 safety protocols and overseeing our weekly testing.
‘Nurse Wendy, as we affectionately call her, has become much more than an employee.
‘She’s our protector, therapist, nurturer, cheerleader and friend.’
The tribute clip then cut to members of the crew.
Rebecca Borman, the head makeup artist, said: ‘Words cannot describe how important your presence has been with us every single day of this pandemic.’
John Keegan, an associate director, said: ‘Wendy was very helpful as far as getting us the testing that we needed.’
And Ashley Alderfer-Kaufman, wardrobe supervisor, said: ‘She is the glue that holds our little covered bubble together.’