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 individuals with signs — together with the Protection Division, the State Division and the C.I.A. — wanted a constant methodology of doing so. The software, he mentioned, may additionally assist focus investigative efforts on the circumstances which are more than likely associated to Havana syndrome.
“It’s worthwhile to transfer from a piecemeal to a whole-of-government strategy,” he mentioned. “They wanted to consolidate all of the reporting mechanisms of the totally different businesses.”
Early final yr, the Biden administration and the C.I.A. started an intense hunt for what might be inflicting the accidents. To date, 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 transient Congress. A State Division official mentioned the screening software was central to evaluating individuals with signs however was not a diagnostic software. Because of this, the official mentioned, it can’t be used for figuring out compensation.
The Havana Syndrome Thriller
What’s the Havana Syndrome? The mysterious sickness, which has affected navy officers, C.I.A. personnel and diplomats around the globe, manifests itself in a bunch of illnesses corresponding to power headache, vertigo and nausea.
Whereas the legislation is meant to compensate sufferers for accidents associated to Havana syndrome, it additionally supplies help for a wide range of authorities service-related accidents. Beneath the laws, a C.I.A. officer who incurred a mind damage whereas serving in Iraq or Afghanistan may qualify for added compensation.
Intelligence businesses haven’t used the screening software to categorize incident stories. Nonetheless, authorities officers and medical suppliers mentioned the software was serving to them be taught extra in regards to the signs related to Havana syndrome and the accidents individuals had been experiencing. It has helped individuals get care, the officers mentioned, even when they haven’t met the factors for a Havana syndrome case.
Dr. Pablo A. Celnik, the director of the division of bodily medication and rehabilitation at Johns Hopkins Medication, mentioned this system he oversees has handled a number of dozen sufferers who had been referred to the hospital after being screened by the triage software. To date, he mentioned, just a few ended up having diagnosable sicknesses.