By: Denise Simon | Founders Code
Primer in part from the BBC:
A CIA officer who was traveling to India this month with the agency’s director has reported symptoms consistent with so-called Havana syndrome, US media report.
Three unnamed sources told US media that the officer has received medical attention for the mystery illness.
The CIA has not responded to requests for comment by the BBC.
It’s the second reported case in less than a month, as US authorities continue to investigate its cause.
In August, Vice President Kamala Harris’ flight from Singapore to Vietnamese capital Hanoi was briefly delayed after an American official reported symptoms similar to Havana syndrome.
The syndrome first affected people at the US and Canadian embassies in Havana, Cuba, in 2016 and 2017. Dozens of other episodes have since been reported by American officials in the US, China, Russia, Germany, and Austria.
And now the most recent:
The U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Columbia is host to anti-narcotics operatives, spies, diplomats, and aid workers. Just a week before secretary of state Anthony Blinken is scheduled to visit the South American country and after US President Joe Biden last week signed a law that provides increased funding and medical care for US government employees who fall ill with “Havana syndrome”.
He vowed to find “the cause and who is responsible” for the attacks amid reports of US embassy staff in Berlin, Germany, falling ill with symptoms associated with “Havana syndrome”.
At least five American families connected to the bustling U.S. Embassy in Colombia have been afflicted with the mysterious neurological ailment known as Havana Syndrome, in the latest attack against American diplomatic installations, people familiar with the matter said.
In emails to embassy personnel, sent by Ambassador Philip Goldberg and others and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, the State Department vowed to address the issue “seriously, with objectivity and with sensitivity,” as they work to determine the scope of the afflictions in one of the U.S.’s most important diplomatic outposts.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price declined to comment on the report Tuesday during a department briefing, saying instead the agency is working to ensure all affected personnel gets “the prompt care they need in whatever form that takes” and to protect its workforce around the world.
Pressed on why the administration wasn’t being more forthcoming, Price said officials had to respect personnel privacy, adding, “It’s certainly not the case that we are ignoring this. We are just not speaking to the press — we’re speaking to our workforce.”
Price also declined to confirm that Blinken is traveling to Colombia. Colombia’s Foreign Ministry announced he would visit for a high-level dialogue on Oct. 20 with Foreign Minister and First Vice President Marta Lucía Ramírez after the two met last week in Paris on the sidelines of the summit of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries. source