Fact Check: Mike Pence Did Not Deliver Empty Boxes Of PPE To A Hospital As Seen In Jimmy Kimmel Video

Hoax Alert

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: Mike Pence Did Not Deliver Empty Boxes Of PPE To A Hospital As Seen In Jimmy Kimmel Video Edited Video

Did Vice President Mike Pence deliver empty boxes of PPE to a hospital as a publicity stunt? No, this is not true: Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel mocked a video of Pence delivering boxes that were "empty" to a health care center amid the coronavirus outbreak, but the clip he used was edited and taken out of context.

The video that went viral of Kimmel criticizing the vice president saying, "Well, can I carry the empty ones? Just for the camera?" The full video on C-SPAN shows the Vice President unloading boxes, delivering them to the hospital and making a joke about empty boxes.

The Kimmel video went viral on Twitter (archived here) where it was published by Matt McDermott on May 8, 2020. It opened:

Mike Pence caught on hot mic delivering empty boxes of PPE for a PR stunt.

This is what the post looked like on Twitter at the time of writing:

Twitter screenshot


Jimmy Kimmel shared the clip during his monologue on May 7, 2020, ripping into "Magic Mike" Pence showing an edited video. The vice president was delivering supplies to a Virginia health care center as aid for health care workers during the coronavirus outbreak.

"Here he is with no mask on wheeling boxes of PPEs into a health care center and doing his best to lift them. What a hero. Just barely into the door," Kimmel sarcastically begins. "Since it was going so well and also because he didn't realize he had a mic on, Magic Mike decided to keep it going. Listen in closely here."

The clip shows Pence being told boxes are empty and he responds: "Well can I carry the empty ones? Just for the camera?"

Kimmel continues: "Mike Pence pretending to carry empty boxes of PPEs into a hospital is the perfect metaphor for who he is and what he's doing. A big box of nothing, delivering another box of nothing."

Here is Kimmel's monologue still on YouTube where it has earned over 250,000 views as of Friday afternoon.

The clip shown by Kimmel is edited and doesn't show the full video, which is available on CSPAN. Lead Stories isolated the relevant section in this clip:

During the longer 9-minute video, the Vice President is lifting boxes out of a van with the helped of a soldier in fatigues and other men, putting them on a dolly and wheeling them to the front door of the health center.

Pence returns to the van and is told by one of the men that the boxes left inside are empty.

"Those are empty, sir," he is told and replies: "Well can I carry the empty ones? Just for the camera?"

The video went viral after it was posted on Friday morning on Twitter by Matt McDermott.

Here is the full 9 minute video on C-SPAN

After being shown the longer video, McDermott responds to Pence "joking" about a publicity stunt.


Kimmel deleted the Tweet and was called out Twitter by BuzzFeed editor Dave Mack:

A spokesman for Vice President Pence tweeted about it, too:

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.


  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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