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Two US Diplomats Will Be Medically Evacuated From Vietnam After Suffering From ‘Havana Syndrome’

© REUTERS / STRINGERA lone car is seen on an empty highway during lockdown amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam August 23, 2021.
A lone car is seen on an empty highway during lockdown amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam August 23, 2021.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.08.2021
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The “Havana Syndrome” emerged in late 2016 after staffers at the US and Canadian embassies in Cuba began experiencing a variety of odd symptoms that included hearing loss and a sensation or a vibration of pressure in their head. Although an exact cause has not been pinpointed, one US report hinted it was caused by directed radio energy emissions.
Newly surfaced reports have detailed that at least two diplomats stationed in Vietnam reported experiencing symptoms previously associated with the so-called “Havana Syndrome,” prompting officials to temporarily delay US Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to Hanoi.
Citing two senior US officials knowledgeable on the development, NBC News reported that the pair of diplomates will be medically evacuated from the Southeast Asian country after having experienced “anomalous acoustic incidents” in Hanoi over the weekend.
The sudden symptoms are said to have occurred while the staffers were at their homes and not at the US embassy on account of many officials working remotely to stay in compliance with Vietnam’s COVID-19 lockdown.
However, the unidentified senior officials further detailed that the two reports are not the first to have been documented in Vietnam. Although the sources did not offer an exact number of past reports, it was noted that past similar incidents also involved “acoustic incidents.”
It was also revealed that investigations into the older incidents were conducted, but that officials were unable to confirm the sudden events.
Incidentally, the development did prompt Christopher Klein, the chargé d'affaires of the US Embassy in Hanoi, to alert the US vice president’s delegation, as the party was set to arrive in Hanoi. The move ultimately forced a 3-hour delay before Harris and company chose to move forward with their travels. 
© REUTERS / EVELYN HOCKSTEINU.S. Vice President Kamala Harris speaks to troops as she visits the USS Tulsa in Singapore, August 23, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/Pool
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris speaks to troops as she visits the USS Tulsa in Singapore, August 23, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/Pool - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.09.2021
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris speaks to troops as she visits the USS Tulsa in Singapore, August 23, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/Pool
Harris had been departing Singapore for Vietnam when she received word of the events. The vice president is traveling to Southeast Asia as part of a larger effort to strengthen partnership with regional leaders.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during the Tuesday briefing that there has been no assessment indicating that Harris or a member of her party was targeted as part of the incident.
To date, the US intelligence community has no official explanation about the “Havana Syndrome.” Having been documented in Austria and Germany as well, roughly 200 US officials, including CIA agents, have been diagnosed with the mysterious ailment. 
A report conducted by the National Academies of Sciences, which also happened to be commissioned by the US State Department, determined that “directed, pulsed radio frequency energy” had been the “most plausible mechanism.” However, investigators urged at the time that more investigation was needed in order to fully pinpoint what was causing the anomalies. 
While the CIA has steered clear of releasing any additional conclusions on the matter, the agency recently announced that it had chosen an officer to lead probes into the causes of the syndrome. The unidentified officer was previously reported as being the same individual who led the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
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