OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Kamala Harris’ trip to Vietnam was delayed by several hours because of a “report of a recent possible anomalous health incident.”
That term is the way that the United States government has referred to what is called the Havana Syndrome, CNN reported.
“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. After careful assessment, the decision was made to continue with the Vice President’s trip,” Rachael Chen, a spokeswoman for the US embassy in Hanoi, said.
Aboard Air Force Two, Harris’ chief spokeswoman Symone Sanders told traveling reporters that Harris is “well, all is fine and looking forward to meetings in Hanoi tomorrow.” Later she said of the delay: “This has nothing to do with the vice president’s health,” according to a pool report.
The intelligence community still doesn’t have an official explanation for Havana syndrome, which is a perplexing mix of sensory experiences and physical symptoms that have now sickened hundreds of US diplomats, spies and troops around the globe — some severely enough to force their retirement.
CNN has not reported any cases of Havana syndrome in Vietnam.
Harris eventually took off from Singapore’s Paya Lebar Air Base at 7:32 p.m. local time, after a more than three-hour delay.
Incidents of Havana syndrome began in late 2016 in Cuba and a Senate committee said earlier this year that the number of suspected cases appeared to be on the rise.
Medicine.net described the syndrome.
“In late 2016, deployed diplomats heard a loud piercing sound at night and felt intense pressure in the face. Pain, nausea, and dizziness followed. While the sound stopped eventually, some people complained of continued pain and dizziness along with trouble concentrating. The symptoms were debilitating enough to interfere with their work during the period of deployment,” it said.
“In the years that followed, many intelligence officers and military personnel reported symptoms such as confusion, nausea, and disorientation that typically started with a sudden onset of pain and pressure in the head and ears. They reported other symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, brain fog, memory problems, light sensitivity, and sleep-related complaints (drowsiness and insomnia),” the website said.
“The long-term sequelae of Havana syndrome include Migraine, Problems with distant vision, Squinting, Recurrent vertigo, Nosebleeds,” it said.
Experts believe Havana Syndrome is caused by some type of mechanical device emitting an ultrasonic or microwave energy.
“NEWS: At least 2 US personnel in Hanoi, Vietnam will be medevacked out of country after Havana Syndrome incidents over the weekend. Hours before VP Harris arrived in Vietnam, US staff informed the incidents involved strange sounds, senior US officials tell me & @mitchellreports,” NBC News reporter Josh Lederman said on Twitter.
“This is not the first time Havana Syndrome incidents have been reported in Vietnam, sources tell me. The previous ones involved sound too. They were investigated but nothing was able to be confirmed,” he said.
This is not the first time Havana Syndrome incidents have been reported in Vietnam, sources tell me. The previous ones involved sound too. They were investigated but nothing was able to be confirmed.
— Josh Lederman (@JoshNBCNews) August 24, 2021
“White House confirms the VP’s delegation was delayed from departure in Singapore because of a possible case of Havana syndrome -named as such after State Dept and CIA officials in Cuba first complained of unusual sound and pressure sensations in their heads in 2016 and 2017,” Fox News White House Correspondent Jaqui Heinrich said.
“The cause has never been officially determined – but the working hypotheses have included microwave-radiation or sonic attacks. Last week in Germany, US diplomats were reportedly also treated after developing symptoms of Havana syndrome,” she said.
The cause has never been officially determined – but the working hypotheses have included microwave-radiation or sonic attacks.
Last week in Germany, US diplomats were reportedly also treated after developing symptoms of Havana syndrome.
— Jacqui Heinrich (@JacquiHeinrich) August 24, 2021
“The US embassy in Hanoi says that VP Harris’s trip to Hanoi was delayed because of ‘a report of a recent possible anomalous health incident in Hanoi, Vietnam.’ Anomalous health incident is what the US govt calls the Havana syndrome,” CNN national security correspondent Kylie Atwood said.
The US embassy in Hanoi says that VP Harris's trip to Hanoi was delayed because of "a report of a recent possible anomalous health incident in Hanoi, Vietnam." Anomalous health incident is what the US govt calls the Havana syndrome. pic.twitter.com/lFyE1z9SL0
— Kylie Atwood (@kylieatwood) August 24, 2021