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Possible Havana syndrome case delays Vice President Harris' trip to Vietnam

Kamala Harris
Posted at 1:18 PM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 18:14:04-04

HANOI (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip from Singapore to Vietnam was delayed several hours Tuesday by an investigation into two possible cases in Hanoi of the so-called Havana syndrome, according to administration officials.

The investigation was in its early stages and officials deemed it safe for Harris to make her scheduled stop in Vietnam.

When asked about it at a briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the administration takes any reported incident of Havana syndrome seriously.

“While this is not a confirmed case at this time, we take any reported incident, which was recent and was reported publicly I will note, quite seriously,” said Pskai. “As a result, there was an assessment done of the safety of the vice president and there was a decision made that she could continue to travel, along with her staff. It was not a person traveling in her party or anything along those lines.”

The Havana syndrome is the name for a rash of mysterious health incidents first reported by American diplomats and other government employees in the Cuba capital beginning in 2016.

Harris is traveling across Asia in an attempt to reassure allies about American foreign policy amid the tumultuous evacuation of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

During remarks in Singapore, Harris delivered a sharp rebuke to China for its incursions in the South China Sea.

“We know that Beijing continues to coerce, to intimidate, and to make claims to the vast majority of the South China Sea,” said Harris. “These unlawful claims have been rejected by the 2016 arbitral tribunal decision. And Beijing’s actions continue to undermine the rules-based order and threaten the sovereignty of nations.”