On Floor of the U.S. House, Spanberger Calls for Urgent Action in Response to Havana Syndrome Attacks
A Former CIA Officer & Federal Agent, the Congresswoman is Spearheading an Effort to Protect Diplomats & Federal Employees, Protect Americans at Home & Abroad
Washington, July 28, 2021
**DOWNLOADABLE VIDEO: On House Floor, Spanberger Urges Colleagues to Support Her Amendment Pressing State Department to Assist Affected Personnel, Prevent Future Attacks**
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today urged the U.S. State Department to protect U.S. personnel following a series of mysterious incidents directed against U.S. diplomats and federal employees — often called “Havana Syndrome” attacks.
“Havana Syndrome” describes reports of abnormal health conditions that first surfaced among more than 40 U.S. Embassy staff in Havana, Cuba in 2016. Since then, reports have identified more than 130 total cases among American personnel — including on American soil. Shared symptoms include headaches, tinnitus, dizziness, hearing or vision loss, vertigo, and cognitive difficulties.
To urge strong federal actions in response to these incidents, Spanberger spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in support of her amendment to the fiscal year 2022 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPs) appropriations legislation. Specifically, her amendment brings attention to the national security threat of “Havana Syndrome,” calls for a robust interagency response and information-sharing with Congress, and presses the State Department to make sure all affected personnel receive the prompt and appropriate care they deserve.
Click here to watch her remarks, and a full transcript is below.
I stand in support of my amendment demanding action in response to the “Havana Syndrome” incidents affecting Americans around the world.
The recent string of mysterious attacks on U.S. diplomats and personnel — often called “Havana Syndrome” — is a serious threat to our national security. Having spoken directly with individuals impacted, I know these attacks are having lasting and detrimental impacts on the health of our nation’s public servants.
I stand here today to call for a robust interagency response — one that reflects the severity and urgency of the situation.
The State Department must play an active role in this response, share relevant information with Congress — particularly the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and make sure all affected personnel receive prompt and appropriate care. It is our duty to ensure our public servants get the care and the answers they deserve.
As a former federal employee, I intend to keep pressing the administration to better protect our diplomats and federal employees serving at home and abroad.
I know firsthand their commitment to their missions, their devotion to our country, and the promises we have made to them.
I urge my colleagues to join me in this cause. Thank you, and I yield back.
Additionally, Spanberger’s amendment urges the administration to share details on the origins and handling of these incidents with Congress, including the House Foreign Affairs Committee — on which Spanberger serves.
Spanberger has long pushed for the federal government — including the State Department — to strengthen its response to “Havana Syndrome” incidents.