Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip to Vietnam and Singapore was already generating headlines over the unflattering optics of Harris leaving the country while President Joe Biden’s Afghanistan blunder unfolded.
According to the Associated Press, her trip abroad took a bizarre turn on Tuesday when it was announced that her flight from Singapore to Vietnam was delayed for several hours over a report involving a case of the mysterious “Havana Syndrome”, leaving many wondering if something had happened to the vice president during her travels.
Havana Syndrome became mainstream terminology in 2016 when a number of U.S. diplomats, spies, and other officials were mysteriously sickened in Cuba, possibly by a microwave device or some type of sonic ray, though it’s still unknown what causes it. The sickness is so impactful that it has reportedly forced some U.S. diplomats into early retirement.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was pressed on the incident Tuesday. She claimed that while there were concerns, the situation apparently did not involve Harris nor anyone working for Harris or the White House.
After the reports of the puzzling illness emerged, “there was an assessment done of the safety of the vice president, and there was a decision made that she could continue travel along with her staff,” the AP noted.
Other than vague press reports, not much else is known about the circumstances on the ground in Vietnam that triggered the delay of the vice president’s trip.
One Harris landed and appeared for the signing of a lease for a new embassy, Harris made a statement but didn’t elaborate on the late-breaking developments.
“Here’s my message to embassy staff: thank you. The people who work in our embassies around the world are extraordinary public servants who represent the best of what the United States believes itself to be and aspires to be, which is a good neighbor for our partners and our allies around the globe,” Harris said.
Americans serving in a number of countries around the world have fallen victim to Havana Syndrome attacks. Some believe Russia is the probable suspect behind such attacks, a claim that Moscow has denied.