Sunday September 19, 2021

100 CIA officers, family members hit by ‘Havana Syndrome’

July 24, 2021

WASHINGTON: About 100 CIA officers and family members are among some 200 officials and kin sickened by “Havana syndrome,” CIA Director William Burns said on Thursday, referring to the mysterious set of ailments that include migraines and dizziness. Burns, tapped by President Joe Biden as the first career diplomat to serve as CIA chief, said in a National Public Radio interview that he has bolstered his agency’s efforts to determine the cause of the syndrome and what is responsible. He confirmed that among other steps, he tapped a senior officer who once led the hunt for Osama bin Laden to head a task force investigating the syndrome, and said he tripled the size of the medical team involved in the probe. The agency also has shortened from eight weeks to two weeks the time that CIA-affiliated people must wait for admission to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, he said. “It’s a profound obligation I think of any leader to take care of your people and that is what I am determined to do,” Burns told NPR in his first interview since becoming CIA director in March.