Vice President Kamala Harris’ flight from Singapore to Vietnam had to be pushed back several hours Tuesday over possible “Havana Syndrome” cases among US personnel in Hanoi.
The US Embassy in Hanoi issued a statement blaming “a recent possible anomalous health incident” there for the three-hour delay of Harris’ flight.
An “anomalous health incident” is a term the US government has used to describe so-called “Havana Syndrome” — a mysterious condition that includes dizziness, nausea, migraines and memory lapses and is sometimes preceded by a piercing sound.
The condition got its name from a rash of health incidents first reported by American officials in Havana, Cuba, starting in 2016 and 2017.
An NBC News reporter tweeted, “At least 2 US personnel in Hanoi, Vietnam will be medevacked out of country after Havana Syndrome incidents over the weekend.
“Hours before VP Harris arrived in Vietnam, US staff informed the incidents involved strange sounds,” NBC journo Josh Lederman added, quoting “senior US officials.”
“This is not the first time Havana Syndrome incidents have been reported in Vietnam, sources tell me,” Lederman wrote. “The previous ones involved sound too. They were investigated but nothing was able to be confirmed.”
The veep’s office has refused to comment on what caused Harris’ three-hour delay.
Before reports emerged on the cause, her rep, Symone Sanders, only said the VP was “well” but did not elaborate.
“You saw her get onto the plane. She is well. All is fine,” Sanders told reporters.
The embassy in Hanoi issued the statement only after Harris had departed Singapore.
“Earlier this evening, the Vice President’s traveling 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,” the statement said.
“After careful assessment, the decision was made to continue with the Vice President’s trip.”
Harris has faced criticism for going ahead with her planned Asia trip amid the US’ chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The Vietnam trip, which is only her second abroad as VP, has already been dominated by questions related to Afghanistan.
During a joint news conference Monday, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong warned Harris that the rest of the world will be watching closely to see what the US does next on the world stage following its chaotic retreat from Afghanistan.
“Countries make calculations and take positions, and they have to make recalculations and adjust their positions from time to time,” Lee said. “Sometimes, it can be done smoothly. Sometimes, there are hiccups. Sometimes, things go awry and take time to put right.”
With Post wires