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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

CIA chief elaborates on problems caused by ‘Havana syndrome’

by Jonathan Lande | Reuters

WASHINGTON – CIA Director William Burns said Thursday that nearly 100 CIA officers and family members are among the 200 US officers and family members suffering from “Havana Syndrome”, referring to mysterious illnesses such as migraines and dizziness.

Burns, who was tapped by US President Joe Biden as the first career diplomat to serve as CIA chief, said in an interview with National Public Radio that he sought to determine the cause of the syndrome and what is responsible for it. has strengthened the efforts of its agency for

He confirmed that, among other steps, he tapped a senior official who had once led the search for Osama bin Laden, who headed a task force investigating the syndrome, and said he had been involved in the investigation. Tripled the size of the medical team.

He said the agency also reduced the time CIA affiliates would have to wait to be admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center from eight weeks to two weeks.

Burns told NPR in his first interview since becoming director of the CIA in March, “It’s a profound obligation that any leader I think of to take care of your people, and that’s what I’m determined to do.” “

Havana syndrome, with symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, migraines and memory lapses, is so named because it was first reported in 2016 by US officials based at the US Embassy in Cuba.

Burns noted that in December a US National Academy of Sciences panel found that a plausible theory is that “directed energies” cause the beam syndrome.

There is a “very strong possibility” that the syndrome occurred intentionally, and Russia may be responsible, he said, adding that he is withholding definitive conclusions pending further investigation.

Moscow refuses to get involved.

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