Stephen King Apologizes to Colbert for Predicting COVID-19 - Rolling Stone
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Stephen King Apologizes to Colbert for Predicting COVID-19

King’s The Dead Zone and The Stand foreshadowed the rise of Donald Trump and the current pandemic

Stephen Colbert had another Stephen, acclaimed author Stephen King, on The Late Show Tuesday night, where he asked King how he was able to so accurately predict the coronavirus crisis.

“People have been telling me for years that I sort of foresaw Donald Trump,” King said. “I wrote a book called The Dead Zone, and there was a character in there, a TV comedian-type guy who appealed to the common people, and told everybody that he was gonna solve the pollution problem ’cause he was gonna shoot it all into outer space!” King added snidely that ejecting garbage into outer space was “pretty favorable” to suggesting that people inject bleach into their own bodies as a treatment for COVID-19.

King wrote another book in the Seventies called The Stand, about a highly contagious, global virus that spawns a cottage industry of American opportunists willing to capitalize on its ubiquity. The author said he gets stopped on the street for that one now, too.

“My response is, ‘I’m sorry for that,'” he said. “But when I wrote it back in the Seventies, I just had this idea based on a chemical spill in Utah. And I went to a doctor that I knew, and I said, ‘Could you give me a scenario for a pandemic that wipes out 98% of the Earth’s population?’ And his eyes lit up. I mean, they love that sort of apocalyptic ‘what if’ scenario.”

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