Did a psychic predict Barbra Walters’ Health Problems? No.

Barbra Walters is 80 years old.  She’ll be 81 in September.    It’s hardly unexpected that she would have at least a few health issues by this age and it does not take a psychic to predict that a person in their late 70’s probably is going to need some kind of medical care in the next few years.   Yet that’s what a self-proclaimed psychic is claiming.

Walters recently head heart valve surgery, which apparently went well.   The surgery was to replace the aortic valve. Doctors had recently become concerned about the conditions of her heart valve, although the exact nature of the problem has not been made public.

Now notoriously poor faker James Van Praagh is claiming credit for predicting Barbra Walters’ heart condition two years in advance. Apparently Van Praagh is trying to grab some attention any way he can by latching onto a story that has nothing to do with him.

Via Access Hollywood:

Two years ago, psychic James Van Praagh privately warned Barbara Walters about her health, only to be called out later on the TV icon’s daytime talk show, “The View” – and now, with Barbara headed for heart surgery, he has come forward to Access Hollywood to explain what happened.

“I felt very, very bad for her as anyone would,” James told Access’ Tony Potts of Monday’s announcement that Barbara would undergo heart surgery for a faulty valve. “A horrible thing to happen to anybody.”

However, he explained that he felt the news was “a validation of what I got for her at that time.”

James, a co-executive producer of CBS’s “Ghost Whisperer” and a medium with a long history of success in TV and publishing, told Tony that he’d sensed something wrong with Barbara during his appearance on “The View” on July 8, 2008, and suggested during a commercial break that she have a reading done. However, he explained that after the show, she wanted to hear what he’d sensed.

“I tuned into her and I said, ‘Something is bad with your blood,’” James said of their backstage discussion. “It’s not moving correctly… you have to watch it. It might not be right now, it could be in the future.”

He also told her he sensed issues with her white blood cells and her back.

Less than two weeks later, in the July 17 episode, Barbara went on “The View” and proclaimed that her doctors had given her a clean bill of health, criticizing James – a move that disappointed the psychic.

Van Praagh even has the gal to demand an apology for being rebuffed when he made the statement two years ago. For her end, Barbra Walters does agree that he said that there was something wrong with her blood, her white cells were up and her lower back had problems. She does not mention him saying anything about the “flow” of her blood, however:

Barbara Walters announced to the world on this past Monday’s episode of “The View” that she’s having heart surgery – but did a psychic predict her medical plight almost two years earlier?

“You know how healthy I have been – never missed a day’s work. Later this week, I am going to have surgery to replace one faulty heart valve,” Barbara said on “The View.” “I have known of this condition for a while now and my doctors and I have decided that this is the best time to do the surgery.”

However, on July 8, 2008, psychic James Van Praagh appeared on “The View” with Barbara, and took her aside after the show to tell her privately that he sensed something was wrong.

“He came up to me and said, ‘I need to talk to you,’” Barbara explained later on the show on July 17, 2008, growing visibly heated. “[He said], ‘There’s something wrong with your blood, and there’s something wrong with your lower back.’

“So even though I knew this was ridiculous, I called my doctor. [Van Praagh] said I had too many white blood cells. It could be elevated,” she continued.

However, at the time, she said she got a clean bill of health.

“I am absolutely normal!” Barbara said loudly. “I think it’s a dangerous thing to do, looking at someone and saying, ‘You have an elevated white blood count.’”

Van Praagh responded in the New York Post, explaining he was “sorry that Ms. Walters chose to publicly disparage me” after their private conversation

So lets consider what we have here. Van Praagh apparently told Walters three things: First, something is wrong with her lower back, that she has high white blood cell levels and that there is something wrong with her blood. At least two of these are undoubtedly and unambiguously 100% wrong. The heart is not located in the lower back and there’s no information to indicate that Walters has any problems in that area of her body. A high white blood cell count count indicate an infection or an autoimmune problem, but Walters had and has neither of these.

Then there is the issue of “There’s something wrong with your blood.” The heart may pump blood, but that’s about it. To say that “there is something wrong with your blood” implies some kind of issue with the composition of the blood, perhaps very high cholesterol, diabetes, acidosis, enema or any number of other conditions. If we are to believe Van Praagh that he did say “it’s not circulating right” then that could imply a heart problem, but it could also imply an impending blood clot, a stroke, internal bleeding, poor circulation or any number of other problems.

This is a common trick by psychics: they make a prediction so general that almost any medical condition could fit the bill. They also like to make multiple predictions and then focus only on the one that was not completely wrong.

Lets stop and consider something. Van Praagh’s prediction would be equally accurate if Walters had developed any of the following conditions from 1998 onward, since the prediction appears to be open ended:

  • A heart valve problem
  • Heart attack
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Chronic fibrilations
  • Coronary Disease
  • Angina
  • Hardening of the arteries
  • Congestive Heart failure
  • Anemia
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Failure
  • Fluid Retention
  • Stoke
  • Dehydration
  • A blood clot
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Arterial thrombosis
  • Renal thrombosis
  • hypertension
  • high cholesterol
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • A deficiency in just about any nutrient
  • Any infection at all
  • Arterial embolism
  • Pulmonary Embolism
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Acidosis
  • Alkalosis
  • Hemosiderosis
  • Septic Shock
  • Hyperthyroid
  • Hypothyroid
  • Sickle Cell disease

I’m sure readers can think of even more. The prediction that a 78 year old would have one of these issues at some point is not exactly amazing. It just goes to show that if you use a big enough shotgun, you’re bound to hit something.  James Van Praagh, you’re pathetic.