Kamala Harris arrives in Vietnam after delay over possible 'Havana syndrome' case

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Vice President Kamala Harris finally arrived in Vietnam from Singapore early Wednesday after a potential case of the mysterious “Havana Syndrome” was reported, causing her flight a three-hour delay.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the case had not been confirmed and a safety assessment was completed before the vice president flew on to Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital, Reuters reported. 

“After careful assessment, the decision was made to continue with the Vice President’s trip,” a statement for the vice president said.

Harris left Washington on Friday for a brief tour of Southeast Asia. 

In Singapore, where she was delayed, she sharply criticized China, emphasizing U.S. support for a free Indo-Pacific region and condemning aggression there from Beijing’s communist regime.

Some U.S. intelligence officials believe Havana Syndrome may be intentionally caused. The syndrome has already sickened more than 200 U.S. government officials, according to Reuters. 

The delay of Harris’ flight came less than a week after news emerged that multiple U.S. officials at the embassy in Berlin have sought treatment for symptoms of the syndrome.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is welcomed by Chairman of the Office of State President Le Khanh Hai, as she arrives for the second leg of her Asia trip, in Hanoi, Vietnam, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021. (Associated Press)

Those affected have included intelligence officers or diplomats working on Russia-related issues such as gas exports, cybersecurity and political interference, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Russia has denied any involvement. 

Starting in 2016, State Department and CIA officials in Cuba first complained of the strange symptoms, which include nausea, confusion and migraines. 

Harris arrived in Vietnam shortly after China asked for an impromptu meeting between Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Chinese Ambassador Xiong Bo.

The Vietnam government later said in a statement, “The Prime Minister affirmed that Vietnam adheres to an independent, self-reliant, multilateral, and diverse foreign policy and is a responsible member of the international community. Vietnam does not align itself with one country against another.”

The vice president is making the trip to reassure the countries of the U.S.’ “enduring commitment to the region.” 

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