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Authorities say similar injuries to 'Havana syndrome' reported by US officials on White House grounds

Joe Biden
Posted at 8:37 PM, Feb 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-18 20:37:07-05

Some high-ranking members of the Trump administration say they experienced feelings of vertigo, memory loss and confusion while they were on White House grounds, as CBS reported. The symptoms are similar to those of American diplomats who've been diagnosed with having "Havana Syndrome" while in foreign countries since 2016.

The stories from officials have been corroborated by former National Security Adviser John Bolton, the report says.

Bolton said, "If we were at war and an adversary could disable the president and his top advisers, or commanders in the field, it could render us extraordinarily vulnerable." He said, "We don't know that that's the threat we're facing. But I would much rather focus on finding out the answer now, rather than finding out later when it may be too late."

William Burns, the director of the CIA said, "It's a very complicated issue, you know, dealing with a whole range of incidents which have… different kinds of explanations for them as well." He said, "It's a very charged issue emotionally as well. I understand that very clearly. And that's what… makes me even more determined not only to ensure people get the care that they deserve but also that we get to the bottom of this."

Earlier this month, a panel of intelligence experts wasn't able to identify a single culprit for apparent brain injuries reported by U.S. personnel that have been linked to so-called “Havana syndrome. But officials who briefed reporters Wednesday say several potential causes remain plausible, including the use of devices that emit beams of directed energy.

The CIA announced that the agency considers it unlikely Russia or another foreign adversary is mounting a broad campaign to attack Americans with energy-emitting devices. But in a smaller number of cases, psychological factors alone cannot explain the symptoms and other characteristics displayed by people affected.

Hundreds of American diplomats and intelligence officers attribute their brain injuries and other symptoms to what's come to be known as “Havana syndrome.”

The findings are drawing immediate criticism from those who have reported cases and from advocates who accuse the government of long dismissing the array of ailments. Most cases under review by intelligence officers have been linked to other known medical conditions or to environmental factors. That's according to one official familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the intelligence.