A group of US diplomats and other government employees suffering from so-called Havana Syndrome symptoms have criticized the Biden administration's response and are warning that afflicted individuals are still being denied medical care, NBC News reported on Wednesday.
In a letter obtained by the outlet, the undisclosed staffers allege that the government has continued to "reject scientific evidence regarding the injuries and treatment needs" as well as "invalidate our injuries and experiences" in recent months, claiming that military and intelligence officials who have been hurt by the same inexplicable event are being taken more seriously.
"After four years of challenges, we were hopeful that the new administration would welcome a partnership with us to ensure those affected receive the care and treatment they need and ensure appropriate care for the new cases," the letter reads. "Unfortunately, our experience thus far has fallen short of our renewed expectations."
The letter was submitted to Brian McKeon, a deputy secretary of state, on Tuesday, along with a list of 11 recommendations for how the administration should improve worker safety and medical care, according to the staffers. And, according to the report, several US senators received copies, and they signed a bipartisan bill last month to provide financial assistance to families affected by the mysterious episodes.
The letter was reportedly written on behalf of 21 US government employees and their spouses who have been harmed overseas, notably in Cuba and China, and are suspected or proven Havana Syndrome cases. The authors had requested that Ambassador Pamela Spratlen, the official in charge of the State Department's undertaken measures, attend a formal meeting to address their concerns in March, but they still have not received a response.
"Senior Department leadership's continued refusal to meet with and hear directly from its injured personnel is discouraging," the group wrote.
The staffers also want the administration to expand diagnostic and treatment options for children with Havana Syndrome, ensure long-term monitoring of affected personnel for 10 to 20 years, and undertake baseline testing on diplomats before they're transferred abroad, as Canada is doing now in the wake of the unexplained cases.
According to the letter, despite the fact that many diplomats hurt in Cuba received FBI victim letters or other paperwork from the State Department, employees affected afterwards in other nations have had to get the government to corroborate their injuries, resulting in what they've characterized as exhaustive battles to acquire worker's compensation or other benefits and care.
In its turn, the State Department reportedly stated that it received the letter and expects to discuss its contents with interested parties, as the department has "no higher priority than the safety and security of US personnel, their families, and other US citizens."
The letter adds to the rising congressional pressure on the Biden administration to provide better care for wounded US personnel and to figure out how they sustained brain injuries, which remains a mystery more than four years after the US government began examining what it initially referred to as "targeted attacks."
The US media reported that these mysterious events have not only taken place in Cuba and China, but they have also expanded in scope with new reports of injuries in Russia, Western Europe, and even in the United States, with one of the recent suspected incidents occurring near the White House.
The allegations that directed-energy attacks have been carried out against US employees date back to 2016, following complaints of strange headaches, nausea, ear-popping, vertigo, and presumably brain injuries among American government officials at the embassy in Cuba. Some of the occurrences, dubbed "Havana Syndrome," were accompanied by piercing noise, according to reports.