Second ‘Havana Syndrome’ Case Near White House Being Investigated

Second 'Havana Syndrome' Case Near White House Being Investigated Second 'Havana Syndrome' Case Near White House Being Investigated A February 1, 2018 photo shows the West Wing of the White House in Washington, DC. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty)

By Charlie McCarthy | Monday, 17 May 2021 02:21 PM

A National Security Council official was reportedly afflicted with the mystery "Havana syndrome" illness while near the White House late last year — the second such recent incident to come to light.

The latest disclosed incident involved an official who experienced more severe symptoms than the previous victim, whose situation was reported in April, sources told CNN.

The newly reported case occurred several weeks after the 2020 presidential election.

The illness now known as "Havana syndrome" originated when a number of U.S. and Canadian diplomats stationed in Havana, Cuba, reported signs of vertigo, headaches and insomnia.

First occurring in 2016, the syndrome has since afflicted more than 130 U.S. diplomats, spies and troops. The cause has not been identified.

CNN previously reported two separate "Havana Syndrome" incidents, both involving White House officials. One occurred near the White House last November, and another in a Virginia suburb in 2019.

"The health and well-being of American public servants is a paramount priority for the Biden administration," a White House official told The Hill last month.

"We take all reports of health incidents by our personnel extremely seriously. The White House is working closely with departments and agencies to address unexplained health incidents and ensure the safety and security of Americans serving around the world."

Directed energy attacks have been theorized as a potential cause for the syndrome and, late last month, scenators and CIA officials reportedly engaged in a heated briefing about such attacks on U.S. intelligence officers.

Sources told CNN the classified briefing was one of the most contentious in recent memory for the Senate Intelligence Committee, whose members demanded more information about the attacks and accountability for how the CIA has handled them.

Senators were allegedly surprised they were learning about significant developments for the first time and were frustrated they were not given more details.

"For nearly five years, we have been aware of reports of mysterious attacks on United States Government personnel in Havana, Cuba, and around the world," Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said in a joint statement last month. "This pattern of attacking our fellow citizens serving our government appears to be increasing. The Senate Intelligence Committee intends to get to the bottom of this."

Investigators have struggled to explain the strange experiences reported by American diplomats and other government workers in Cuba, Russia, China, and elsewhere.

CIA Director Bill Burns has begun receiving daily briefings on the matter, according to two CNN sources.

CNN previously reported suspected cases in Europe have been investigated, and additional suspected cases are being investigated domestically.

The Biden administration has amped up its efforts to "identify the cause of these incidents, determine attribution, increase collection efforts, and prevent" what the intelligence community now terms "anomalous health incidents," a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a statement on Tuesday.

Original Article