Daily Debunker: Coronavirus ‘Prediction’ or Lucky Guess?

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Featured on Snopes today: A celebrity psychic wrote in 2008 that a respiratory disease would "spread throughout the globe" in 2020, a homebrew recipe for hand sanitizer made with vodka spreads on social media, and more.

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Did self-described psychic Sylvia Browne “predict” the coronavirus outbreak in a 2008 book called “End of Days”?

Snopes readers asked us to verify the claim that the celebrity medium foresaw the spread of the disease 12 years before it happened. Bethania Palma reports that Browne indeed wrote that in 2020 “a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe, attacking the lungs and the bronchial tubes” — which reads like an overstated description of COVID-19 — but that she also predicted the illness would “suddenly vanish” and reappear 10 years later.

Was it a “psychic prediction,” or a half-true lucky guess that won’t even be fully verifiable until another decade passes?