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Biden signs bill providing relief to ‘Havana Syndrome’ victims

Illness which has sickened diplomats and intelligence officers began in Cuba’s capital in 2016

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Sunday 10 October 2021 13:25 BST
Pentagon Asks Personnel to Report Symptoms of ‘Havana Syndrome’

Joe Biden has signed legislation to help US government workers who have been victims of the mysterious “Havana Syndrome”.

The illness has sickened diplomats, intelligence officers and service personnel around the world and began in Cuba’s capital in 2016.

“I was pleased to sign the HAVANA Act into law to ensure we are doing our utmost to provide for US government personnel who have experienced anomalous health incidents,” said Mr Biden.

“Addressing these incidents has been a top priority for my administration.”

Under the legislation the US federal government will increase medical support for officials who are impacted by the strange illness, the source of which is still under investigation.

It will also increase financial aid to anyone impacted.

Over the past five years, there have been more than 200 incidents reported among US workers in countries such as Russia, China, Colombia and Uzbekistan.

In August two US personnel in Vietnam reported suffering from “unexplained health incidents” just before vice president Kamala Harris arrived in the country.

The condition includes unexplained symptoms such as fatigue, memory lapses, anxiety, and vertigo.

Investigators initially believed that it was caused by a sonic or acoustic weapon, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The CIA inspector general is reviewing the agency’s handling of officers who reported experiencing “anomalous health incidents,” CNN reported earlier this year.

A 2018 assessment suggested that is could be caused by exposure to microwaves, which create energy at a radio frequency.

“We are bringing to bear the full resources of the US government to make available first-class medical care to those affected and to get to the bottom of these incidents, including to determine the cause and who is responsible,” Mr Biden said in his statement.

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