US candidate Williamson suggests using 'power of mind' against hurricane

US 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful and self-help author Marianne Williamson suggested that "the power of the mind" could alter the path of Hurricane Dorian (AFP Photo/JOSH EDELSON)

Washington (AFP) - Self-help author and unlikely 2020 presidential hopeful Marianne Williamson suggested Wednesday that Americans could harness "the power of the mind" to change the course of deadly Hurricane Dorian.

The massive storm devastated parts of the Bahamas this week and was skirting the Florida coast and threatening to wreak havoc there as well as coastal Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

The Bahamas and coastal US states "may all be in our prayers now" as Dorian advances, the longshot candidate for the Democratic nomination, a onetime spiritual advisor to Oprah Winfrey, said in a tweet that was later deleted.

In the same post she appeared to address how the hurricane's shifting course spared southern Florida's residents who worried that they might suffer a direct hit.

"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," Williamson wrote.

"Two minutes of prayer, visualization, meditation for those in the way of the storm."

After Williamson deleted her tweet, a journalist reposted it, drawing a sharp response from the candidate.

"I'm neither crazy, irresponsible nor dangerous," she wrote.

Williamson's comments sparked online debate, and she pushed back energetically against critics, sounding a political warning to Democrats to not ignore the power of faith.

"Millions of people today are praying that Dorian turn away from land, and treating those people with mockery or condescension because they believe it could help is part of how the overly secularized Left has lost lots of voters," she said.

"Prayer is a power of the mind, and it is neither bizarre nor unintelligent. People of faith belong in the Democratic Party, and will be necessary to the effort if we're to win in 2020."

Williamson, who did not qualify for next week's Democratic debate, has turned heads during the campaign for some of her unconventional proposals and language, including her July warning of a "dark psychic force" in America.

Hers have not been the only unorthodox proposals for addressing storms.

President Donald Trump reportedly considered dropping nuclear bombs on hurricanes before they reached the US mainland. In August Trump slammed the report as "ridiculous."