White House Unaware of Reports That Ex-President Bush Was Victim of Havana Syndrome
© AP Photo / Gerald HerbertFormer President George W. Bush listens to speakers during the opening ceremony of the Walker Cup golf tournament, which starts tomorrow, at Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Fla., Friday, May 7, 2021. The tournament was founded by George Herbert Walker, the United States Golf Association president in 1920, who was the great-grandfather of Bush.
© AP Photo / Gerald Herbert
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Wednesday she is not aware of reports that former US President George W. Bush may have been the target of a possible Havana syndrome type attack.
The Washington Examiner reported on Tuesday that Bush, his wife Laura Bush and other members of a US delegation may have been the victims of a Havana syndrome type attack in June 2007 when they attended the G8 summit at the Grand Hotel in Heiligendamm, Germany.
"I can't speak to anything that's speculated, this is the first time I'm hearing about this report, I would have to go back and check with our team," Jean-Pierre said when asked about reports about a possible Havana syndrome type attack against Bush.
The report cites a first-hand account from Laura Bush mentioned in her 2010 book, "Spoken from the Heart," where she explains that she, her husband and nearly a dozen members of the US delegation became ill at the summit. Laura Bush said she felt dizzy, nauseous , while a US military aide had difficulty walking and a White House staffer lost all hearing in one ear.
Laura Bush also said President George W. Bush felt so ill that he did not stand up to greet then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
US diplomats were first diagnosed with the Havana Syndrome in Cuba in 2016 and then in China in 2018. The diplomats said they experienced piercing sounds that have caused longer-term health effects. US diplomats in Russia, Tajikistan, Austria and in several African countries have also reported experiencing Havana Syndrome symptoms, including nausea and dizziness.
The US government initially blamed Russia for the alleged acoustic attacks, but Moscow dismissed the allegations as groundless and absurd. In July, CIA Director William Burns said Russia may be responsible for the incidents but added the US government lacks proof to make a final determination.