US investigating a second case of so-called ‘Havana Syndrome’ sickening official near White House

Two US national security officials sickened with Havana Syndrome near the White House on separate occasions last November

Clara Hill
Monday 17 May 2021 17:36 BST
The US Embassy in Cuba was the site of the first display of symptoms of the Havana syndrome
The US Embassy in Cuba was the site of the first display of symptoms of the Havana syndrome (Getty Images)

The US is investigating a second case of a White House official falling ill after a suspected invisible energy attack in Washington, according to a new report.

CNN reported on Monday that the second incident occurred a few weeks after the US presidential election in November. The broadcaster also broke the news of the first case, both of which occurred near the White House.

Katie Bo Williams, a reporter for the network, joinedNew Day to discuss the “strange constellation of symptoms” the White House officials suffered, and what is currently known about the incidents.

When asked by anchor Brianna Keilar if people knew what was causing the ailments, Williams said, “the short answer is no. The CIA director is getting briefed quite literally every day right now, so it tells you how seriously the intelligence community is taking this.”

Some believe it could be an attempt by foreign governments to extract information from electronic devices, such as mobile phones,.

Ms Keilar then asked Ms Williams if the attacker comes into the “line of sight” of the victims, which allowed Williams to reiterate that authorities were as yet unable to decipher what the means of attack was, or even looked like, as “no one had really seen anything”.

“The answer to that is that nobody really knows right now,” Ms Williams concluded, with Ms Keilar describing it as “incredibly troubling”.

The phenomenon known as Havana Syndrome was first reported by The New York Times in October 2020. Over the past five years, more than 130 American diplomats, soldiers and intelligence professionals have experienced the mysterious sickness.

CIA and Pentagon reports have implied they do not believe this is a natural illness, but rather a means of aggression from a foreign power. A State Department-backed study concluded it most likely stems from a pulse of radiofrequency “directed” at US targets.

Symptoms can include headaches, tinnitus and memory issues. Some officials were forced to retire because of it.

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