Potential Havana Syndrome incident delayed Harris flight to Vietnam

This is the term the government usually uses to refer to the mysterious Havana Syndrome, which has made hundreds of US officials sick in recent years.

“That evening, the trip of the Singapore Vice President’s delegation was delayed because the Vice President’s Office was made aware of a report of a recent possible abnormal health incident in Hanoi, Vietnam. After careful consideration, the decision was made with the trip of the Vice President, “said Rachael Chen, spokeswoman for the US Embassy in Hanoi.

On board Air Force Two, Harris’ chief spokeswoman Symone Sanders told traveling reporters that Harris was “good, everything is fine and he looks forward to meeting in Hanoi tomorrow.” She later said of the delay, “This has nothing to do with the Vice President’s health,” a pool report said.

The secret service still has no official explanation for Havana Syndrome, a confusing mix of sensory experiences and physical symptoms that has now made hundreds of US diplomats, spies, and troops around the world sick – some difficult enough to retire to force.

CNN has not reported any cases of Havana Syndrome in Vietnam.

Harris finally took off from Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore at 7:32 p.m. local time after a delay of more than three hours.

Havana Syndrome incidents began in Cuba in late 2016, and a Senate committee said earlier this year that the number of suspected cases appeared to be rising.

Havana syndrome victims have reported a variety of symptoms and physical sensations, including sudden dizziness, nausea, headache, and head pressure, sometimes accompanied by a “piercing directional noise”. Some have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries and suffer from debilitating headaches and other health problems years later.

US federal investigators have struggled to find out what or who is causing the mysterious symptoms. Cases have been reported in Russia, China, and other countries around the world. Last month, Austrian authorities announced they were investigating reports that US diplomats in Vienna had symptoms of Havana Syndrome.

Earlier this year, CNN reported two separate incidents that occurred near the White House late last year that involved National Security Council officials.

Two defense officials said in May that the Pentagon had written a memo to the entire U.S. military and civilian population asking staff to report any so-called abnormal health symptoms that could indicate they were victims of Havana Syndrome .

CNN reported earlier this month that frustration is mounting among common State Department staff and diplomats over the lukewarm response from department management, including Foreign Secretary Antony Blinken, several officials say.

The reported incident comes amid Harris’ trip to Singapore and Vietnam, when the Vice President wants to convey to Southeast Asian countries that the US is sincere in its long-term commitment to the region.

White House officials say Harris’ overarching mission of the trip is to cement relationships with regional partners. It is expected to focus on regional security issues amid concerns over China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea; economic priorities, including supply chain issues such as global chip production; Climate change; and the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is her second trip abroad as Vice President. At the beginning of the year she traveled to Central America – a trip that also included travel problems as Harris had to change planes due to a technical error shortly before leaving for Guatemala.

This story has been updated with additional information.

CNN’s Denise Hruby, Jennifer Hansler, Kylie Atwood, Natasha Bertrand and Katie Bo Williams contributed to this report.

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