No, Arthur did not predict the pandemic in 2006

Host and producer Arthur at Disneyland Paris, in June 2019 (illustration). – Laurent VU / SIPA

  • According to a video montage relayed on Twitter, television host Arthur predicted the Covid-19 pandemic in 2006 … that is to say fourteen years before it occurred.
  • This sequence shows him evoking, during a dinner, the risk of a “colossal pandemic” causing “a curfew in the big cities”.
  • If the extract, taken from a January 2006 program, is authentic, it is misleading since Arthur actually referred to a possible avian flu pandemic, this virus being at the heart of global concerns at the time.

TV host, producer, businessman… and prophet? According to a video archive that has gone viral, Arthur predicted in 2006 the Covid-19 pandemic which hit the world in 2020. “How did he know him? Strange, no […] Arthur predicted it “, pretends to be surprised the Net surfer having shared on Twitter a sequence of Ina (National Audiovisual Institute) of” March 2006 “.

We see, thanks to a 30-second montage, the famous host of Children of TV launch, during a dinner, several “predictions”: “We are not immune to a colossal pandemic”, “we are going to live a curfew in the big cities”, “the question is not knowing “are we going to live it?”, it is “when?” “,” The curfew, they have already prepared everything, […] how they will protect hospitals… ”

If these images are authentic, they suggest, wrongly, that Arthur refers to the Covid-19.


They are actually taken from an excerpt from the show 93, Faubourg Saint-Honoré broadcast on January 24, 2006 on Paris Première, which can be found on the “Arditube” YouTube channel, on which Thierry Ardisson compiles the archives of the various programs he has hosted over the years.

Watched in its entirety, the footage shows Arthur is actually referring to avian flu (or H5N1), which is mentioned several times alongside the show’s other guests – including TV producer Xavier Couture.

“We did a lot of remaking a part of the world tonight, we did not talk about the real problem of humanity: the chicken flu. […] People haven’t talked about bird plague – it’s called that, the medical title is not “bird flu”, it’s “bird plague”. I’ve been getting everyone drunk for a year and a half. I now have my sites, my places where I go on the Internet, I have my information, I correspond with doctors who think that I am a doctor ”, explains Arthur in the preamble.

Before adding “I think we are not immune to a colossal pandemic. […] France has ordered 600 million masks, we are at 15 million medicines stored. […] I know it from a reliable source. […] We are going to have a curfew in the big cities. “

A dinner with a “minister” who remained anonymous

Alongside A’thur, Xavier Couture recounts having dined “with a minister whose name we will not mention”, who was “very cheerful throughout the dinner” before having “the tragic air” by evoking “the avian plague ”. And to continue: “600 million masks are not for civilians. As they are to be renewed every 6 hours or every 12 hours, this is the minimum number of masks to protect the medical personnel who will be required to treat the pandemic. […] Tamiflu [un médicament antigrippal] is in military pharmacies, they are ready for distribution in less than 48 hours. “

Contacted by 20 minutes, Arthur and Xavier Couture had not responded to our requests before the publication of the article. If the worrying scenario of “a colossal pandemic” of avian influenza evoked by Arthur in January 2006 did not finally see the light of day, his concerns seemed legitimate in view of the context of the time.

A pandemic situation considered by the Ministry of Health at the time

As recalled by the day-to-day monitoring of the situation carried out by The echoes in 2006, different outbreaks of avian influenza had multiplied across the globe throughout the month, several countries – such as China, Turkey and Indonesia – having furthermore deplored human deaths after cases of transmission of the virus. animal to man. Two days after the publication of this issue of 93, Faubourg Saint-Honoré, the National Assembly had also published the first part of its information mission on avian influenza.

“If they believe that France is” ready for the alert “, the deputies say, however, that it is not for the rest. They raise an obvious industrial problem, in France as in other European countries: the capacity of the production tool, in the event of an influenza pandemic, to produce on a large scale – masks, vaccines, antivirals ”, noted The echoes.

In one December 2005 document, the Ministry of Health, while taking the risk of a pandemic seriously, noted for its part that “the pandemic virus does not yet exist since it would result from the combination between H5N1 and a strain infecting humans or a significant mutation of the virus ”. He noted: “For the first time in the world, we have the means to fight a pandemic. The latter are of variable magnitude, unpredictable but not systematically catastrophic. “

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