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Shaheen Helps Introduce Bill to Improve Public Servants’ Access to Care at Walter Reed

(Washington, DC) – Today U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) joined Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in introducing bipartisan legislation – the Walter Reed Injury Recovery (WIRe) Act of 2021 – to ensure wounded officers and their families have immediate access to specialized facilities at Walter Reed. 

“For American public servants suffering from brain injuries due to reported directed-energy attacks, living with the symptoms of their ailments and having to fight for medical treatment has been an absolute nightmare. That is completely unacceptable – our personnel deserve better,” said Shaheen. “This has been a top priority of mine for years, and I’m glad to continue bipartisan efforts in the Senate with Senator Cotton and this group of lawmakers on new legislation that would require timely access to Walter Reed facilities for medical treatment. I’ll continue working across the aisle to care for public servants who’ve been targeted by these attacks and will keep up efforts to uncover their source.”

Walter Reed Army National Military Medical Center and its National Intrepid Center of Excellence has been the nation’s premier institution for the treatment of traumatic brain injuries for more than a decade. The WIRe Act will ensure that all U.S. Government personnel who may have suffered a brain injury as the result of an attack during the course of their duties receive immediate treatment at this facility. It also directs elements of the departments and agencies of the federal government to remove any bureaucratic impediments to the immediate delivery of needed services.

Senator Shaheen has stood by government employees and their families who have 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 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 followed her letter with Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) last May, calling on the administration to interpret the law as intended by Congress.   

On the TODAY Show last year, Shaheen responded to the findings of a National Academy of Sciences report on these injuries and underscored the urgent need to take action to address these attacks that have targeted American public servants and their families. Despite Shaheen’s calls for former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to come before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to address what the Trump administration was doing to uncover the source of these attacks and protect American public servants, Pompeo never appeared. Pompeo also never responded to bipartisan calls in the Senate led by Shaheen to detail how the Trump administration would respond to the findings of the NAS report. During Secretary of State Blinken’s confirmation hearing, Shaheen reiterated that uncovering the causation of these attacks and assisting those who’ve been injured must be top priorities for the Biden administration. In February, Shaheen spoke with CNN in an exclusive interview on developments to uncover the source of targeted sonic attacks against U.S. personnel and their families.