Reps. Turner, Crow & Wenstrup Act to Mitigate Havana Syndrome & Support Affected Service Members
Representatives Jason Crow (D-CO-06), Brad Wenstrup (R-OH-02) and I together introduced legislation to support American public servants who have incurred brain injuries from likely directed energy attacks, or “Havana Syndrome.”
The Havana Syndrome Service Member Support Act will:
- Ensure those affected by Anomalous Health Incidents (AHI) receive timely and comprehensive care;
- Integrate a cross-agency effort to address and mitigate these attacks;
- Allow the Secretary of Defense to appoint an Under Secretary to lead a cross-functional team to address AHIs.
Since 2016, our fellow Americans serving overseas have experienced unexplained illnesses and deadly symptoms commonly known as ‘Havana Syndrome.’ This ongoing situation threatens our national security, and we must immediately work to protect our U.S. diplomats and citizens working abroad. This amendment would provide medical resources to the victims and most notably, investigate the causes and perpetrators of these attacks.
“In recent years, American diplomats and servicemembers have been debilitated by these anomalous health incidents. We must ensure they have the support needed to recover, and use a whole-of-government approach to address and mitigate these incidents. I’m proud to partner with Reps. Turner and Wenstrup on this important bipartisan legislation to support and protect U.S. public servants and their families,” said Congressman Jason Crow.
“Americans conduct a great deal of diplomatic work around the world, sometimes at great personal risk. Unfortunately, some of our agencies’ staff, including personnel with the Department of Defense, have come down with unexplained symptoms that have come to be known as ‘anomalous health incidents’ or ‘Havana Syndrome,’” said Rep. Wenstrup. “We need to ensure our personnel receive timely and comprehensive health care for these incidents as well as better integrate DOD efforts with other agencies in order to address this serious threat. To that end, I’m proud to co-lead this bipartisan bill to help better equip us to protect Americans on diplomatic missions.”
“Havana Syndrome” is the term given to an illness that first surfaced among more than 40 U.S. Embassy staff in Havana, Cuba, beginning in 2016. Since then, at least a dozen U.S. diplomats at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou suffered symptoms consistent with the effects of directed, pulsed, radiofrequency energy, and, according to the press, there have been more than 130 total cases among American personnel -- including on U.S. soil. Symptoms have included severe headaches, dizziness, tinnitus, visual and hearing problems, vertigo, and cognitive difficulties, and many affected personnel continue to suffer from health problems years after the attacks.
The Havana Syndrome Service Member Support Act is currently under consideration by the House Armed Services Committee as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. Passage out of committee is expected later tonight.
Reps. Crow and I both serve on the House Armed Services Committee. Reps. Crow and Wenstrup both serve on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.