Despite the ongoing foreign policy disaster in Afghanistan, Vice President Kamala Harris continued her tour of Southeast Asia this week. However, her trip hit a bizarre and temporary snag due to an unexpected health concern.
Fox News reported Tuesday that Harris’ flight from Singapore to Vietnam was briefly suspended after reports over a possible threat of “Havana Syndrome” emerged, which is thought to be a type of energy beam attack launched in recent years against U.S. diplomats, though the cause is still unclear.
What’s going on?
When asked about the incident, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said a safety assessment had been conducted before Harris and her team made their way to Vietnam’s capital city, Fox noted.
Meanwhile, the Washington Examiner reported that the U.S. embassy in Hanoi also released a statement addressing the mysterious development.
“Earlier this evening, the Vice President’s traveling delegation was delayed from departing Singapore because the Vice President’s office was made aware of a report of a recent possible anomalous health incident in Hanoi, Vietnam,” the statement read.
The embassy statement added: “After careful assessment, the decision was made to continue with the Vice President’s trip. The delegation will leave Singapore tonight and arrive in Hanoi, Vietnam.”
A Reuters piece published last month explained that the “Havana Syndrome” phenomenon was first observed five years ago among officials at the U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba after several diplomats became mysteriously ill.
The syndrome is said to be characterized by such symptoms as dizziness, nausea, migraines, and memory lapses, with a U.S. National Academy of Sciences panel concluding last December that the condition likely has a manmade origin. Some diplomats and other government agents have been forced into early retirement as a result of being attacked by the unknown weapon.
At least one prevailing theory holds that the symptoms are induced through the use of “directed energy” beams, with Russia being a potential culprit.
Many have experienced it
Reuters noted that a staggering 200 U.S. government officials appear to have been afflicted with Havana Syndrome, and that group of victimes includes roughly 100 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employees.
CIA Director William Burns has opened an investigation into the problem, telling NPR that a senior figure who once led the search for Osama bin Laden will be in charge of it.
“It’s a profound obligation I think of any leader to take care of your people and that is what I am determined to do,” Burns said.