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Likely Havana syndrome case delays Harris trip to Vietnam

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris delivering a speech at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore before departing for Vietnam on the second leg of her Asia trip on August, 24, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip from Singapore to Vietnam was delayed several hours on August 24 by a “recent possible anomalous health incident”, the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi said.

The U.S. government uses that phrase to describe what’s known as “Havana syndrome”, a rash of mysterious health incidents first reported by American diplomats and other government employees in Havana, Cuba, beginning in 2016 and 2017.

No cause has been determined, but similar unexplained health ailments have since been reported by Americans serving at diplomatic posts in other countries.

Ms. Harris was set to depart for Hanoi on August 24 evening after delivering a speech in Singapore, castigating China for its incursions into the South China Sea, and a discussion of supply chain issues with business leaders.

But the flight was delayed for more than three hours and Symone Sanders, Ms. Harris’ chief spokesperson, refused to explain. Unprompted, Ms. Sanders volunteered that Ms. Harris was “well” although reporters had seen the Vice President several times on August 24 and had no reason to be concerned about her health.

Ms. Harris’ office referred questions to the State Department. The U.S. Embassy in Hanoi issued a statement after Ms. Harris departed Singapore.

“Earlier this evening, the Vice President’s travelling delegation was delayed from departing Singapore because the Vice President’s office was made aware of a report of a recent possible anomalous health incident in Hanoi, Vietnam. After careful assessment, the decision was made to continue with the Vice President’s trip.”


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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 1:43:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/likely-havana-syndrome-case-delays-harris-trip-to-vietnam/article36092900.ece

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