The House of Representatives unanimously passed a law on Tuesday that would allow payments to those affected by ““- a mysterious disease known to produce neurological symptoms that has affected dozens of American officials and personnel in several countries. The American Neurological Attack Victim Assistance Act, also known as the HAVANA Act, is now submitted to President Joe Biden’s office for approval.
“There is no higher priority than protecting our people. None,” Representative Adam Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement. “As we examine the cause of the disease known as Havana Syndrome, we need to make sure that those affected receive the care they deserve.”
The bill allows government agencies to pay staff who have suffered Havana Syndrome-related injuries on the job. Those affected before and after the passage of the bill will be eligible for payments.
Symptoms of “Havana Syndrome” include severe headache, dizziness, tinnitus, visual and hearing problems, dizziness, and cognitive problems. Some have even been diagnosed with brain damage. Last year, the National Academies of Sciences, in an assessment commissioned by the State Department, said the “most plausible” cause of the officials’ symptoms was “directed, pulsed radio frequency energy.”
Senate firstthe HAVANA Act on June 7 in a bipartisan effort led by Senators Susan Collins, Mark Warner, Marco Rubio and Jeanne Shaheen.
“This law will provide the necessary resources for the brave men and women of our intelligence community who have put so much on the line to protect our democracy and national security.” Warner, a Democrat from Virginia said.
“The American personnel and their families who have fallen victim to these directed energy attacks deserve to have access to the care they need to recover – period,” Shaheen, a Democrat from New Hampshire, said in a statement. Tuesday. “It is unacceptable that so many officials and their families have faced unnecessary red tape to get the medical care they need to recover.”
Several U.S. officials have reported symptoms consistent with Havana Syndrome this year after working in multiple locations overseas. The cases, which have reportedly affected US personnel since 2016, have been described as a “growing” pattern of alleged “attacks” against US officials. Authorities have yet to determine who may be behind the attacks.
“There is no doubt that victims who have suffered brain damage must receive adequate care and compensation,” said Rubio. “In addition, it is essential that our government continue the investigation to hold accountable those behind these attacks and that we respond immediately. I urge the president to sign this legislation as soon as possible.”
Olivia Gazis contributed reporting.