Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken last night requesting equal access to Walter Reed treatment facilities for all State Department victims experiencing symptoms of anomalous health incidents, also known as “Havana Syndrome.” Their letter follows reports that the State Department has not accommodated requests by some of the agency’s employees to receive treatment for their symptoms at Walter Reed, which is broadly recognized as the center of excellence to treat victims of the suspected directed energy attacks within the federal government. The Senators asked Blinken to investigate why the State Department has refused access to some of its employees and to take action to ensure State Department employees have equal access to the best treatment options.
“We are particularly concerned that some State Department employees with such symptoms who have been recommended for treatment have been refused access to Walter Reed National Medical Military Care Center by the Department of State, despite their requests to be seen at Walter Reed. We request that you investigate why this happened and undertake efforts to ensure State Department employees and their dependents have the same access to care as AHI victims from the Department of Defense,” the Senators wrote.
“Although not all victims may wish to proceed with treatment at Walter Reed, we believe that equity in access to care must be a foundational principle in responding to the needs of victims. No victim must feel that there is a difference in treatment options as a result of their employing agency,” the Senators continued. “We see no reason why the State Department and DoD cannot allow for equity for all government employees in access to care at Walter Reed.”
Click HERE to read the full letter.
The Senators’ letter comes on the heels of Congress unanimously passing the Helping American Victims Afflicted by Neurological Attacks (HAVANA) Act, authored by Senators Collins and Shaheen along with Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), which would authorize the CIA Director and the Secretary of State to provide injured employees and dependents with additional financial support for brain injuries.
Senator Collins has stood by government employees and their families who have suffered from these mysterious injuries and leads efforts in Congress to provide them critical health benefits. Last month Senators Collins and Shaheen introduced bipartisan legislation, the Directed Energy Threat Emergency Response Act, to reform the U.S. government’s investigation and response to suspected directed energy attacks and improve access to care for impacted individuals. Specifically, the bill would require the President to designate a senior national security official to organize a whole-of-government response and direct the heads of relevant agencies to designate senior officials to lead their agency’s response. In May, Senators Collins and Shaheen joined Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in introducing the WIRe Act to ensure U.S. Government employees and their families who are experiencing symptoms of the “Havana Syndrome” have immediate access to assessment and treatment at Walter Reed Medical Center.