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US presidential candidate suggests 'prayer, visualisation, meditation' can stop Hurricane Dorian

Marianne Williamson has come under fire for tweeting that "prayer, visualisation, meditation" could stop Hurricane Dorian. Source: AAP/Twitter

Democratic 2020 hopeful, Marianne Williamson, has received criticism on social media after suggesting the "power of mind" could help people affected by the powerful storm.

A Democratic presidential candidate has suggested the "power of mind" could stop Hurricane Dorian from making landfall in the US.

In a now-deleted tweet, Marianne Williamson said "two minutes of prayer, visualisation, [and] meditation" could help those in the way of the deadly storm.

Democratic presidential hopeful Marianne Williamson.
Democratic presidential hopeful Marianne Williamson.
Getty Images

"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," she tweeted, according to screenshots, on Thursday. 

Ms Williamson, who announced her bid for Democratic nomination in January this year, later deleted the original tweet and replaced it with one that read: "Prayers for the people of the Bahamas, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. May the peace of God be upon them and their hearts be comforted as they endure the storm.".

Hours later she tweeted again, describing prayer as "power of the mind". 

Volunteers rescue several families that arrived on small boats, from the rising waters of Hurricane Dorian
Volunteers rescue several families that arrived on small boats, from the rising waters of Hurricane Dorian.

"It is neither bizarre nor unintelligent," she said. "People of faith belong in the Democratic Party, and will be necessary to the effort if we’re to win in 2020."

In another tweet, she said "millions of people today are praying that Dorian turn away from land" and warned against treating them with "mockery or condescension" or risk losing voters. 

Ariel photos emerged on Wednesday, showing the extent of the damage caused by Hurricane Dorian on the Bahamas, as the storm continues to threaten the east coast of the US.

The storm, which was originally a Category 5 Hurricane, has been downgraded to Category 2 but increased in size.

Seven people have been confirmed dead by the storm so far, but Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis warned the death toll may rise.

"We can expect more deaths to be recorded. This is just preliminary information," he said.

"We are in the midst of one of the greatest national crises in our country's history."

US President Donald Trump.
US President Donald Trump.
Getty Images North America

A campaign spokesperson for Ms Williams, Patricia Ewing, reportedly told CNN on Thursday the original post was a "metaphor" and was deleted because it caused confusion.

"When others speak of prayer and the mind it's considered profound, but Williamson is held to a different standard," Ms Ewing told CNN. 

Earlier this week, US President Donald Trump came under fire for claiming that he had never heard of a Category 5 hurricane before, despite four - including Dorian - hitting the US during his time in office.

"A Category 5 is something, that I'm not even sure I've heard the term, other than I know it, it's there. That’s the ultimate, and that’s what we have, unfortunately," he told Federal Emergency Management Agency officials on Monday.

Areas of the US, including Florida, were evacuated earlier this week ahead of the storm's expected landfall. 

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