ICYMI: Shaheen Unveils New Bill to Help Americans Affected by Directed Energy Attacks

August 06, 2021

(Washington, DC) – Earlier this week, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, led new bipartisan legislation with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) to reform the U.S. government’s investigation and response to suspected directed energy attacks, also referred to as “Havana Syndrome,” and improve access to care for impacted individuals. 

The legislation builds on Shaheen’s leadership over the years to support victims and get to the bottom of these mysterious attacks. Specifically, the bill would require the President to designate a senior national security official to organize a whole-of-government response and direct the heads of relevant agencies to designate senior officials to lead their agency’s response. It also would create workforce guidance to increase awareness of these attacks and strengthen avenues for reporting symptoms, including through the creation of government-wide self-reporting systems.  

Check out this week’s coverage of how the bill represents Congress’ latest effort to assist U.S. personnel and their families who’ve been affected: 

MSNBC: “Sen. Shaheen Unveils New Bill to Help Americans Affected by Directed Energy Attacks 

  • “Too often there’s been a siloed approach to dealing with this – it’s been different based on which agency public employees are in.” 
  • “When we started working on this, we'd been working with between 15 and 20 people who have been affected…The list now that's publicly acknowledged is up to over 200.” 
  • “This [bill] is an effort to try to improve coordination, to try to set up reporting to Congress so that we have a better sense of what happens, and so that we know that everybody who has been affected is being treated in the same way.” 
  • “We need to get to the bottom of who's doing this. Part of what our legislation hopes to do is not just look at providing treatment for those people who are affected, but also putting funding into the investigation, into who's doing it and how we can prevent it.” 

Watch her full interview on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports here or below: 

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Politico: Senators introduce bill to push White House on 'Havana syndrome' investigation 

  • The bill, introduced by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), represents Congress’ latest bid to boost the Biden administration's efforts to get to the bottom of what has been dubbed “Havana syndrome” — so named after dozens of U.S. officials there were afflicted with suspicious ailments. 
  • “U.S. public servants injured by directed energy attacks should be treated with the same urgency as any other American injured in the line of duty,” Shaheen said in a statement. “They shouldn’t have to jump through bureaucratic hoops to access the care they need, which compounds the suffering they’ve already endured.” 
  • “We look forward to working constructively with Senator Shaheen on her legislation to advance our shared aim of ensuring the safety and security of Americans serving around the world, discovering the cause of these anomalous health incidents, and helping affected individuals receive the care they need as quickly as possible,” an NSC spokesperson said. 

The Hill: Bipartisan bill would create NSC position to oversee 'Havana syndrome' response 

  • A bipartisan group of senators is seeking to up the ante on addressing mysterious “Havana syndrome” attacks, pushing the White House to establish a point-person to lead a wide-ranging investigation while setting aside millions for U.S. personnel injured in the incidents. 
  • A bill introduced Tuesday by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and others would force President Biden to designate a senior official on the National Security Council to lead a whole-of-government response to the attacks, which are believed to have impacted some 200 Americans, many of them employed by the CIA or the State Department. 

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