Senate OKs Invoice That Would Present Support For Mysterious ‘Havana Syndrome’ Accidents : NPR


A man rides his bicycle near the U.S. embassy in Havana on Jan. 12. Yamil Lage / AFP via Getty Images

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Yamil Location / AFP via Getty Images

A man rides his bicycle near the U.S. embassy in Havana on Jan. 12.

Yamil Location / AFP via Getty Images

The US Senate unanimously voted Monday to pass a law that would provide additional resources to US officials suffering from so-called “Havana Syndrome” – a mysterious set of symptoms that first posted federal employees stationed in Cuba in 2016 concerned.

The bipartisan bill – Helping American Victims Afflicted by Neurological Attacks (HAVANA) Act – would authorize financial assistance to U.S. officials who report symptoms related to the syndrome, including headache, nausea, hearing and vision disorders, dizziness, and memory loss.

“Far too many victims of ‘Havana Syndrome’ have had to fight the bureaucracy to treat their crippling injuries. American personnel exposed to these attacks while serving our country should be treated the same as a soldier should be treated to suffered traumatic injury. ” on the battlefield, “Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins, a co-author of the bill, said in a statement.

As of late 2016, dozens of employees at the U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba, and later Guangzhou, China, were complaining of symptoms, including cognitive difficulties.

The New York Times recently reported that the health incidents have now affected more than 130 federal employees.

A number of State Department officials recently sent a letter to leadership claiming that victims of the syndrome were not being properly cared for, NBC News reported.

The sudden appearance of strange symptoms has often baffled US officials. Former President Donald Trump said Cuba was “responsible” in 2017, but other officials have pointed fingers at other opponents.

In 2020, at the request of the State Department, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine examined the syndrome and concluded that microwave radiation was the “most plausible” cause of Americans’ complaints.

The report did not speculate on whether the diplomats were deliberately exposed to radiation – the product of weapons-grade microwaves used by US enemies

In a joint statement, the law’s co-sponsors described the incidents as “likely targeted energy attacks”.

“We also need a state-wide approach to determining what this weapon is and who is using it to prevent future attacks and protect Americans,” Collins said in Monday’s statement.

The bill would give the CIA director, foreign ministers, and other agency leaders scope to provide additional financial and medical assistance to those suffering from persistent health problems due to the syndrome.