Diplomats say ‘Havana syndrome’ sufferers not receiving adequate care
US diplomats and other officials experiencing symptoms that appear to be consistent with the unexplained brain injury known as Havana Syndrome have written a letter to the US state department saying those affected are being denied appropriate care.
NBC News, which obtained the letter, reports that staffers have claimed that the Biden administration has continued to “invalidate our injuries and experiences,” and they are calling for the condition to be treated more seriously.
Last month, The New York Times reported that there had been more than 130 incidents of Havana syndrome among US diplomats, spies and defence officials, some of them very recently. The Times said three CIA officers had reported serious symptoms since December, following overseas assignments.
The Guardian’s world affairs editor, Julian Borger, reported at the time:
In December, the National Academy of Sciences published a report saying that the brain injuries suffered by US government employees in Cuba and China were most likely the result of some form of directed energy.
Cheryl Rofer, a former chemist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, has questioned the study’s conclusions, and the claim by victims and some experts that some kind of microwave weapon developed by an adversary is responsible for Havana syndrome.
‘The evidence for microwave effects of the type categorized as Havana syndrome is exceedingly weak,’ Rofer wrote in Foreign Policy.
President Joe Biden has paid tribute to former Virginia Republican senator John Warner who died on Tuesday aged 94, saying he “lived an extraordinary life of service and accomplishment”.
In a statement issued Wednesday, Biden said: “I had the privilege of serving alongside John in the Senate for three decades. The John Warner I knew was guided by two things: his conscience and our Constitution. And, when acting in accordance with both, he neither wavered in his convictions nor was concerned with the consequences.”
He added: “When told that if he voted in a way that was not in line with his party’s position—as he did numerous times on issues of rational gun policy, women’s rights, and judicial nominees—that “people would say,” his favorite rejoinder was, “Let ‘em say it.”
“Indeed, that was his response when, in one of the great honors of my career, he crossed party lines to support me in the 2020 election.”
Biden ended the statement by saying “our hearts and prayers are with his family”.
White House reportedly finalizing plans for Biden to meet the Queen
The White House is reportedly finalizing plans for president Joe Biden to meet with Queen Elizabeth II during his first trip abroad next month, according to CNN.
“This face-to-face greeting, during which Biden would be joined by first lady Jill Biden, is expected to take place before the president leaves the United Kingdom following the Group of 7 summit,” CNN reported, citing an unnamed US official.
The official reportedly said the White House and Buckingham Palace were finalizing details on Wednesday, and an announcement was expected in the coming days.
The Queen, who is 95 years-old and is the world’s longest-reigning monarch, has met every US president since Harry Truman, with the exception of Lyndon Johnson. If the meeting goes ahead, Biden would be the 13th American president she has met.