Shaheen, Bipartisan Group of Senators Call on Pompeo to Detail How Administration Will Respond to Findings of Havana Syndrome ReportJanuary 14, 2021
**Shaheen has stood by these government employees and their families, spearheading legislative efforts to provide them benefits**
**On the TODAY Show, Shaheen responded to the findings of the National Academy of Sciences and underscored the urgent need to take action to address these attacks that have targeted American public servants and their families**
**In the FY21 NDAA that recently became law, Shaheen successfully included language to expand a provision in law that she wrote last year to provide long-term, emergency care benefits to all U.S. Government employees and their dependents who were mysteriously injured while working in China and Cuba**
(Washington, DC) — U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, led a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier this week in response to the findings of a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report that was recently released on brain injuries experience by public servants working abroad, calling on the State Department to provide additional information on the Department’s assessment of causation of these attacks and how the administration plans to prevent such attacks in the future. The letter was also signed by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).
Last month, the National Academy of Sciences released a report that examined brain injuries experienced by federal employees and their families while serving in China and Cuba, which has been referred to as ‘Havana Syndrome.’ The report was transferred to Congress following bipartisan calls led by Shaheen. Victims and public reports have indicated that these injuries are the result of attacks.
The Senators wrote, “…the implications of the report are even more unsettling, as it concludes that some type of pulsed radio frequency attack may have caused the mysterious injuries suffered by U.S. personnel serving abroad. While the NAS report acknowledges that this finding is not conclusive, it casts serious doubt on several alternative explanations, and emphasizes that the mere possibility that these injuries were caused by an attack should be a cause for grave concern.”
The Senators went on to list a series of questions for Secretary Pompeo to respond to regarding the causation, source and locations of the attacks. They closed their letter with a request that the Department take care of personnel who’ve been injured to ensure they have access to the treatment that they need. The Senators also reiterated the need to implement the recommendations of the NAS report and that there is a bipartisan commitment in Congress to act on those proposals.
A PDF of the letter is available here.
Senator Shaheen has stood by government employees and their families who’ve suffered from these mysterious injuries, and leads efforts in Congress to provide them critical health benefits. In the fiscal year (FY) 2021 National Defense Authorization Act that recently became law, Shaheen successfully included language to expand a provision in law that she wrote last year to provide long-term, emergency care benefits to all U.S. Government employees and their dependents who were mysteriously injured while working in China and Cuba. Shaheen’s measure to amend the law follows her letter with Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) in May, calling on the administration to interpret the law as intended by Congress. On the TODAY Show, Shaheen responded to the findings of the National Academy of Sciences and underscored the urgent need to take action to address these attacks that have targeted American public servants and their families. Shaheen has called for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to address what is being done to uncover the source of the attacks and to protect American public servants. Shaheen is a cosponsor of Senator Collins’ legislation that would authorize additional compensation for affected individuals.
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