Marc Polymeropoulos, a retired C.I.A. officer who began experiencing signs of Havana syndrome in Moscow in 2017, mentioned that the federal government businesses that display screen folks with signs — together with the Protection Division, the State Division and the C.I.A. — wanted a constant methodology of doing so. The device, he mentioned, may additionally assist focus investigative efforts on the instances which might be almost definitely associated to Havana syndrome.
“You might want to transfer from a piecemeal to a whole-of-government strategy,” he mentioned. “They wanted to consolidate all of the reporting mechanisms of the completely different businesses.”
Early final 12 months, the Biden administration and the C.I.A. started an intense hunt for what may very well be inflicting the accidents. Up to now, that effort has not turned up any proof pointing to a supply. However some administration officers insist that the accidents are actual, and that they may proceed to search for a trigger.
The Biden administration has till April to draft guidelines for awarding compensation; the State Division and the C.I.A. are engaged on separate units of guidelines. As soon as they’re completed, the legislation requires the administration to temporary Congress. A State Division official mentioned the screening device was central to evaluating folks with signs however was not a diagnostic device. In consequence, the official mentioned, it can’t be used for figuring out compensation.
The Havana Syndrome Thriller
What’s the Havana Syndrome? The mysterious illness, which has affected army officers, C.I.A. personnel and diplomats around the globe, manifests itself in a bunch of illnesses reminiscent of continual headache, vertigo and nausea.
Whereas the legislation is meant to compensate sufferers for accidents associated to Havana syndrome, it additionally gives help for a wide range of authorities service-related accidents. Below the laws, a C.I.A. officer who incurred a mind harm whereas serving in Iraq or Afghanistan may qualify for added compensation.
Intelligence businesses haven’t used the screening device to categorize incident reviews. Nonetheless, authorities officers and medical suppliers mentioned the device was serving to them study extra in regards to the signs related to Havana syndrome and the accidents folks had been experiencing. It has helped folks get care, the officers mentioned, even when they haven’t met the standards for a Havana syndrome case.
Dr. Pablo A. Celnik, the director of the division of bodily drugs and rehabilitation at Johns Hopkins Drugs, mentioned this system he oversees has handled a couple of dozen sufferers who had been referred to the hospital after being screened by the triage device. Up to now, he mentioned, only some ended up having diagnosable diseases.