Sylvia Browne, a self-proclaimed psychic, is being credited by some social media users as having predicted the coronavirus pandemic in a book 12 years ago.
The claim is based on a passage from Browne’s 2008 book, End of Days: Predictions and Prophecies About the End of the World.
The book refers to a “pneumonia-like illness” that will spread around the world in 2020.
Interest in the alleged prophecy was recently sparked after reality show star Kim Kardashian took to Twitter to share the passage from Browne’s book in which the psychic supposedly predicted the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic.
The passage that Kardashian shared on her Twitter page, reads:
“In around 2020 a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe, attacking the lungs and the bronchial tubes and resisting all known treatments. Almost more baffling than the illness itself will be the fact that it will suddenly vanish as quickly as it arrived, attack again ten years later, and then disappear completely.”
Kourtney just sent this on our group chat pic.twitter.com/XyjGajY71d
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) March 12, 2020
Some Twitter users think Sylvia Browne accurately predicted the coronavirus
Since the announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) that the coronavirus disease, caused by COVID-19, is now a pandemic, some Twitter users claim the passage from Sylvia Browne’s book could be proof of her psychic powers.
Browne’s fans are claiming that her description of a “pneumonia-like illness” that attacks the “lungs and the bronchial tubes” is an accurate description of the coronavirus disease infection.
— SLERCH. (@kwekuboakye_) March 11, 2020
“I told y’all”
– Sylvia Browne from her grave pic.twitter.com/7eUfLik9QT
— Taylor Phillips (@TaylorJPhillips) March 12, 2020
OMG my mom just sent me this!
— Nikita Arora (@Nikita_Arora17) March 12, 2020
Browne was known to have made several failed predictions
Browne was a self-proclaimed psychic who promoted her claims that she had psychic powers thorough appearances on radio, TV talk shows, and publications.
Although she attracted a following, she was often criticized for predictions that did not come true.
For instance, she predicted in 2004 that the kidnap victim Amanda Berry had died. But Berry, who went missing in 2002, was rescued in Ohio from the house of her kidnapper, Ariel Castro, in May 2013.
She also predicted during an appearance on Larry King Live in 2003 that she would die at 88, but she eventually died in November 2013, at 77 years old.
She also predicted that Shawn Hornbeck, who went missing in 2002 at the age of 11, was kidnaped by a Hispanic man with dreadlocks.
But when Shawn was found alive in 2007. The kidnapper turned out to be a short-haired Caucasian man, Michael J. Devlin.
Cut it tf out. Sylvia Browne was a grief vulture whose predictions were not only inaccurate (re: Amanda Berry), they actively hurt families holding out hope for their loved ones. Stop getting duped by psychics whose main job is to spew bullshit on a paper. https://t.co/wIZO83Z4cJ
— That One (@rebeccanrahman) March 12, 2020
Did Sylvia Browne predict the coronavirus epidemic?
The fact-checking website, Snopes, notes that Browne wrote her book in 2008, a few years after the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic ended in 2003.
SARS was caused by SARs-CoV, a type of virus that emerged in southern China in November 2002.
This means Browne, who published her “prediction” in 2008, might have been inspired by what was already known about SARS.
The SARS epidemic in 2003 affected 26 countries, with more than 8,000 cases reported.
The emergence of COVID-19 did not come as a surprise to experts who had been warning since the SARS epidemic in 2003 and the MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic in 2012, that another virus pandemic was only a matter of time.
Based on the fact that Browne made several inaccurate predictions, it is likely that the apparent accuracy of her “pneumonia-like illness” prediction is only a coincidence.
Besides, Sylvia Browne is not the only person that Twitter conspiracy theorists claim predicted the coronavirus pandemic.
Some Twitter users have also claimed that the writer Dean Koontz predicted the coronavirus pandemic in his 1981 book The Eyes of Darkness.