Senator Collins attended the signing ceremony at the White House today.
Washington, D.C.—Today, the Helping American Victims Afflicted by Neurological Attacks (HAVANA) Act—legislation authored by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) along with Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) to support American public servants who have incurred brain injuries likely from directed energy attacks—was signed into law. The legislation, which passed Congress unanimously, authorizes additional financial support for injured individuals. Senator Collins attended the signing ceremony at the White House.
“Havana Syndrome” is the term given to an illness that surfaced among more than 40 U.S. Embassy staff in Havana, Cuba, beginning in 2016. Since then, dozens more U.S. diplomats and members of the intelligence community at other locations have suffered symptoms that a study by the National Academy of Sciences found are consistent with the effects of directed, pulsed, radiofrequency energy.
More recently, press reports revealed that a member of CIA Director Burns’ team experienced Havana syndrome symptoms in India earlier this month. Last week, it was reported that a CIA intelligence officer was evacuated from Serbia in recent weeks after suffering from Havana Syndrome symptoms. Additionally, at least two U.S. officials stationed in Germany reportedly sought medical treatment after developing symptoms of “Havana Syndrome.” Press is also reporting that approximately two dozen possible new cases have been reported in Vienna, more than in any other city except Havana itself.
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 Act will give the CIA Director, the Secretary of State, and other agency heads additional authority to provide financial assistance to those suffering from brain injuries as a result of these attacks.
“I have spoken personally with Havana Syndrome victims who were forced to battle the bureaucracy while dealing with their own health challenges. These Americans who experienced traumatic brain injuries from likely directed energy attacks while serving our country should have been treated the same way we treat a soldier who suffered a traumatic brain injury on the battlefield,” said Senator Collins. “Now that the HAVANA Act has been signed into law, Havana Syndrome victims will finally receive the financial assistance and medical support that they deserve. As we continue our efforts to support victims, we must also redouble our whole-of-government approach to identify and stop the heartless adversary who is harming U.S. personnel.”
“Every day, American diplomats and intelligence officers around the world put themselves at risk to keep our nation safe. In return, we have an obligation to provide ample support when these brave men and women are injured in the line of duty,” said Chairman Warner. “As the Senate Intelligence Committee continues to look into the mysterious and debilitating attacks on U.S. personnel abroad, I’m proud to know that these officials will now be able to count on the compensation and care they deserve, thanks to President Biden’s signing of our Helping American Victims Afflicted by Neurological Attacks (HAVANA) Act.”
“As American diplomats and personnel continue to be targets of directed energy attacks by malign actors and rogue states, I’m proud to see my bipartisan initiative become law,” said Vice Chairman Rubio. “We need to stand in support of our diplomatic corps, and their relatives, as they face long-term health challenges and demand that those who are responsible face justice.”
“For far too long, U.S. public servants and their loved ones who’ve suffered from directed energy attacks have been denied the care they need and deserve. That’s unacceptable, and is why I’ve partnered with Senator Collins and this bipartisan group of lawmakers to ensure affected Americans have access to long-term, emergency health benefits,” said Senator Shaheen. “By removing barriers to critical medical attention and paving the way for personnel with brain injuries to recover, the HAVANA Act is an important step forward. I’m very pleased President Biden has signed our bipartisan legislation into law, and I’ll continue to fight to get to the bottom of these attacks and protect our national security.”
The HAVANA Act will authorize the CIA Director and the Secretary of State to provide injured employees with additional financial support for brain injuries. Both the CIA and State Department will be required to create regulations detailing fair and equitable criteria for payment. This legislation will also require the CIA and State Department to report to Congress on how this authority is being used and if additional legislative or administrative action is required.
Senators Collins, Warner, Rubio, and Shaheen’s bill was co-sponsored by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Richard Burr (R-NC), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Angus King (I-ME), James Risch (R-ID), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Rick Scott (R-FL), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Margaret Hassan (D-NH)
Click HERE to read the text of the bill.