US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has appointed senior deputy Jonathan Moore to lead the State Department’s task force on the mysterious Havana syndrome, which has sickened US diplomats and other personnel abroad.
Blinken’s announcement on Friday came amid criticism from a bipartisan group of US senators who say the Biden administration is not taking the disease seriously enough.
Moore replaces Pamela Spratlen, a diplomat who had retired before Blinken was called back into service, and who faced criticism from some victims.
Blinken also announced the appointment of retired Ambassador Margaret Uyehara to help care for State Department staff.
“This is an urgent priority for President Biden, for me, for our entire government and we will absolutely do everything we can,” Blinken said at the State Department briefing.
The syndrome first came to public attention in 2016 when dozens of diplomats at the US Embassy in Havana fell ill with what is now known as “Havana Syndrome”, a disease that causes symptoms such as migraines, dizziness and memory loss. Reasons, which are suitable for all. Exposure to directed energy.
Since then, about 200 American diplomats, officials, and family members abroad are believed to be ill with the syndrome. US intelligence and defense agencies are investigating the cases, about half of which are linked to intelligence personnel. US officials have not determined the cause of the syndrome or whether an antagonist is responsible.
“We are working tirelessly with partners across the government to identify the cause of these incidents and to find out who is responsible,” Blinken said.
Facing criticism from Congress, US President Joe Biden signed a law on October 7 that provides financial aid and better health care to people living with the disease. The new law also provides funding for more intelligence gathering and analysis to determine the cause of the syndrome.
Some of the information in this report comes from the Associated Press and Reuters.