During MSNBC’s Climate Forum 2020 on Thursday, moderator Ali Velshi pressed Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson to explain why she tweeted—and then deleted—a message urging the “creative use of the power of the mind” to cause Hurricane Dorian to veer away from land.
“You had a very unusual tweet about Hurricane Dorian,” Velshi said during their onstage discussion, quoting part of her tweet, which read in full, “The Bahamas, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas… may all be in our prayers now. Millions of us seeing Dorian turn away from land is not a wacky idea; it is a creative use of the power of the mind. Two minutes of prayer, visualization, meditation for those in the way of the storm.”
“You seemed to imply that good energy can offset bad hurricanes,” Velshi said as Williamson attempted to laugh off the line of questioning.
“No I didn’t,” Williamson said, shaking her head. “The only problem there is that I deleted that tweet.” She then added, “I’m Jewish, I go to the doctor”—a line she uses in almost every interview.
When Williamson insisted there’s “nothing anti-science” about her, Velshi pushed back, “It sort of felt a little anti-science-y” to laughs from the audience of students at Georgetown University.
Speaking of Georgia residents she met as Hurricane Dorian approached land, Williamson asked, “You think they weren’t praying for that thing to turn around? And are we just going to talk down to them? You think that everybody who prays in those Southern states, were praying ‘Dear God, turn this hurricane around,’ you think they’re stupid? That’s real smart strategy, Democratic leftists. That’s real smart strategy, mock and make fun of anyone who believes God is powerful.”
As a “woman who believes in God,” Williamson said, “it doesn’t mean I don’t believe in science, it doesn’t mean that I lost some brain cells, it doesn’t mean I’m less intelligent.”
Finally, Williamson admitted that the only reason she deleted the tweet is because the author Joyce Carol Oates criticized her. “And I’m such a fan of Joyce Carol Oates, I’ve read all her books,” she said.
Oates replied to the tweet by writing, “ridiculous. ‘two minutes of prayer, visualization, meditation’ is not enough if you are hoping to move just a fork across a table by the power of your mind.”
“And it’s so stupid to delete a tweet when you’re in the public eye,” Williamson added. “Because all that means is it’s going to get more attention. As soon as I deleted it, I went, ‘Oh no!’”