• Kamala Harris’ departure from Singapore was delayed by three hours
  • U.S. Embassy in Hanoi said there an ‘anomalous health incident’ there, which is a reference to Havana Syndrome
  • Harris was headed to Hanoi as part of the second leg of her Asia trip 
  • Her spokesperson Symone Sanders said: ‘You saw her get onto the plane. She is well, all is fine’ 
  • Havana Syndrome is a mysterious condition that was first reported in 2016 when a staffer at the U.S. embassy in Cuba suffered headaches, brain injury
  • At least two U.S. personnel in Hanoi will be medevacked out of the country after Havana Syndrome incidents over the weekend, NBC News reported 
  • More than 200 US officials and personnel around the world have complained of symptoms such as migraines, hearing loss and dizziness
  • Harris trip – her second abroad – has been dogged by controversy
  • Held round table with business leaders and discussed threats from climate change to global supply chains
  • She said that people should consider buying their Christmas presents now, but didn’t mention Afghanistan
  • In a major policy speech later on Monday she issued warnings of threats posed by China
  • Harris said Beijing was menacing countries in the South China Sea region, threatening stability

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9922433/Kamala-Harris-flight-Singapore-delayed-three-hours-Havana-Syndrome.html

Vice President Kamala Harris‘ departure from Singapore on Monday was delayed by more than three hours because of an ‘anomalous health incident in Hanoi,’ which was the next stop in her Asia trip.

Anomalous health incident is what the U.S. government calls Havana Syndrome, the mysterious condition that causes headaches, brain injury and other issues.  Officials said the decision was made to continue to the trip but did not offer many details.

‘Earlier this evening, the Vice President’s traveling delegation was delayed from departing Singapore because the Vice President’s office was made aware of a report of a recent possible anomalous health incident in Hanoi, Vietnam. After careful assessment, the decision was made to continue with the Vice President’s trip,’ the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi said in a statement.

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At least two U.S. personnel in Hanoi will be medevacked out of the country after Havana Syndrome incidents over the weekend, NBC News reported. Hours before Harris’ arrival, American personnel in Vietnam were informed the incidents involved strange sounds – a key characteristic of Havana Syndrome.

More than 200 U.S. officials and personnel around the world have complained of symptoms such as migraines, hearing loss and dizziness in cases believed to be Havana Syndrome.  Two U.S. officials stationed in Berlin reported symptoms of Havana Syndrome in mid-August.

The vice president didn’t answer questions from reporters when she landed in Vietnam around 10 p.m. local time. She went to her overnight location and will not have any events until Wednesday.

Harris was scheduled to head to Vietnam at 4 p.m. local time after wrapping up a second day in Singapore. But reporters traveling with the vice president were taken back to their hotel rooms without explanation and held there until Harris departed from Singapore’s Paya Lebar Air Base at 7:32 p.m. local time.

Harris’ office did not offer a reason for the delay. Her spokesperson Symone Sanders told reporters before takeoff: ‘You saw her get onto the plane. She is well. All is fine.’

Sanders was just as cagey when speaking to reporters traveling with the vice president from Singapore to Hanoi.

‘I will note you all saw the Vice President out on the tarmac,’ Sanders said after being pressed repeatedly about the delay. ‘She is well, all is fine and looking forward to meetings in Hanoi tomorrow.’

Later on the flight she told reporters: ‘This has nothing to do with the Vice President’s health.’

Vice President Kamala Harris arrives in Hanoi, Vietnam

Vice President Kamala Harris is welcomed by Chairman of the Office of State President Le Khanh Hai upon her arrival in Vietnam

Vice President Kamala Harris’ departure from Singapore was delayed by nearly three hours because of an ‘anomalous health incident in Hanoi,’ which was the next stop in her Asia trip

U.S. Embassy in Hanoi said there an ‘anomalous health incident’ there, which is a reference to Havana Syndrome – above the U.S. embassy building in downtown Hanoi

What is ‘Havana Syndrome’? The illness that started in the US embassy in Cuba and causes memory and hearing loss

The problem has been labeled the ‘Havana Syndrome,’ because the first cases affected personnel in 2016 at the U.S. Embassy in Cuba.

At least 130 cases across the government are now under investigation, up from several dozen last year, according to a U.S. defense official who was not authorized to discuss details publicly. The National Security Council is leading the investigation.

People who are believed to have been affected have reported headaches, dizziness and symptoms consistent with concussions, with some requiring months of medical treatment. Some have reported hearing a loud noise before the sudden onset of symptoms.

Investigators believe there are at least four cases involving Trump White House officials.

Advocates for those affected accuse the U.S. government of long failing to take the problem seriously or provide the necessary medical care and benefits.

US senators said last month that the government is investigating an apparent increase in the mysterious directed-energy attacks.

Symptoms include;

-hearing loss

-severe headaches

-memory issues 

-dizziness 

-brain injury  

Havana Syndrome was first reported in 2016 when a staffer at the U.S. embassy in Cuba suffered headaches, hearing loss, memory issues and other symptoms.

People who are believed to have been affected have reported headaches, dizziness and symptoms consistent with concussions, with some requiring months of medical treatment.

Some have reported hearing a loud noise before the sudden onset of symptoms.

Scientists and government officials are not yet certain about who might have been behind any attacks, if the symptoms could have been caused inadvertently by surveillance equipment – or if the incidents were caused by a mysterious sonic weapon.

The vice president’s trip – her second abroad – has been dominated with questions about Afghanistan and the Taliban take over there even as Harris struggled to stay on message, emphasizing the United States as a global leader and talking about trade issues in Asia.

The Vietnam portion of her trip is starting off under the same cloud of controversy. Harris criticism for being tone-deaf in going ahead with her visit there as American forces struggle to evacuate tens of thousands of people from Kabul.

The crisis has prompted comparisons with the trauma of 1975 in Saigon, when American helicopters ferried final evacuees from the embassy roof, as Viet Cong troops advanced.

The vice president’s final day in Singapore found her emphasizing trade issues and discussing Christmas shopping as global leaders prepared to ask President Joe Biden to delay America’s August 31st deadline for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Harris, addressing a roundtable of business leaders in Singapore warned that climate change and the pandemic have contributed to supply chain issues and suggested parents should consider getting Christmas presents now.

‘The stories that we are now hearing about the caution that if you want to have Christmas toys for your children, it might now be might be the time to start buying them, because the delay may be many, many months,’ she said.

‘So across the board, people are experiencing the issue.

‘And, of course, the climate crisis is fueling a lot of this. When we look at the stronger typhoons that have disrupted shipping lanes and sea level rise, which threatens port infrastructure as an example. So these are the many issues that are that are causing these disruptions.’

The Vice President who kicked off her week-long Asia tour on Sunday, also delivered a sharp rebuke to China for its incursions in the South China Sea, warning its actions there amount to ‘coercion’ and ‘intimidation’ and affirming that the U.S. will support its allies in the region against Beijing’s advances.

But she once again dodged the most weighty international issue of the moment: Afghanistan. Harris has been criticized in the U.S. for her silence on the issue, leaving the remarks to figures such as Jake Sullivan, the National Security Adviser; Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin; and Joe Biden himself.

Harris also failed to address comments made by Adam Schiff, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee on Monday, that US citizens will remain behind enemy lines because he believes it is unlikely that President Biden will complete the evacuation of of Americans and their allies from Afghanistan before the August 31 deadline.

American officials said the decision was made to continue Vice President Harris’ trip but no other details were offered – above Harris arrives at the Singapore airport to leave for Vietnam

The sonic weapon the could cause Havana Syndrome is said to be a smaller version of this 1990s Soviet microwave generator, which is kept at the University of New Mexico

Kamala Harris tackles big issue of the day: Christmas

Kamala Harris discussed Christmas shopping and climate change but failed to mention the current crisis in Afghanistan during her major foreign policy speech on Monday.

Harris, addressing a roundtable of business leaders before her speech, warned that climate change and the pandemic have contributed to supply chain issues and suggested parents should consider getting Christmas presents now.

‘The stories that we are now hearing about the caution that if you want to have Christmas toys for your children, it might now be might be the time to start buying them, because the delay may be many, many months,’ she said.

‘So across the board, people are experiencing the issue.

‘And, of course, the climate crisis is fueling a lot of this. When we look at the stronger typhoons that have disrupted shipping lanes and sea level rise, which threatens port infrastructure as an example. So these are the many issues that are that are causing these disruptions.’

The Vice President who kicked off her week-long Asia tour on Sunday, also delivered a sharp rebuke to China for its incursions in the South China Sea, warning its actions there amount to ‘coercion’ and ‘intimidation’ and affirming that the U.S. will support its allies in the region against Beijing’s advances.

But she once again dodged the most weighty international issue of the moment: Afghanistan. Harris has been criticized in the U.S. for her silence on the issue, leaving the remarks to figures such as Jake Sullivan, the National Security Adviser; Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin; and Joe Biden himself.

Schiff said a full evacuation was ‘possible’ but ‘very unlikely given the number of Americans who still need to be evacuated, the number of SIV’s, the number of others who are members of the Afghan press, civil society leaders, women leaders.’

Despite not mentioning the unfolding catastrophe in Kabul during her address in Singapore, Harris was praised by President Biden during a visit by the WNBA – during which he joked he may need a job soon.

Harris, meanwhile, criticized China in what was billed as a major foreign policy speech.

‘We know that Beijing continues to coerce, to intimidate and to make claims to the vast majority of the South China Sea. Beijing’s actions continue to undermine the rules-based order and threaten the sovereignty of nations,’ she said.

Harris declared that the U.S. ‘stands with our allies and our partners’ in the face of threats from China.

The speech sought to cement the U.S. commitment to supporting its allies in an area of growing importance to the Biden administration, which has made countering China’s influence globally a centerpiece of its foreign policy.

But it comes as America’s decades-long focus on the Middle East comes to a messy end with the chaotic withdrawal from Kabul.

As Harris appeared to dodge the Afghanistan catastrophe during her speech, Rep.  Adam Schiff, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, said it was ‘unlikely Joe Biden would be able to evacuate every US citizen and their allies before his August 31 cut-off point.

Speaking outside the US Capitol, Schiff said: ‘I am encouraged to see the numbers of people evacuated, increasing readily to the point where we evacuated 11,000 people in a single day.’

‘Nonetheless, given the logistical difficulties of moving people to the airport and the limited number of workarounds, it’s hard for me to see that being fully complete by the end of the month. And I’m certainly of the view that we maintain a military presence as long as it’s necessary to get all U.S. persons out and to meet our moral and ethical obligation to our Afghan partners.’

He added: ‘Given the number of Americans who still need to be evacuated, the number of SIVs, the number of others who are members of the Afghan press, civil society leaders women leaders, it’s hard for me to imagine all of that can be accomplished between now and the end of the month,’ he said.

Harris underscored this shift, calling the Indo-Pacific ‘critically important to our nation’s security and prosperity.’

She said that while the U.S. is focused on closing out its Afghanistan engagement by evacuating as many people as possible, ‘it is also imperative that as we address developments in one region, we continue to advance our interests in other regions, including this region.’

Her rebuke to Beijing amounted to her sharpest comments yet on the U.S. foe.

But Harris was careful to emphasize that the U.S. is seeking greater engagement in the Indo-Pacific region not just to counter China, but to advance an ‘optimistic vision that we have for our participation and partnership in the region.’

In deference to Singapore’s staunch neutrality in the U.S.-China dispute, Harris also affirmed that the U.S. isn’t looking to ‘make anyone choose between countries.’

Speaking in a country that serves as the anchor of the U.S. naval presence in Southeast Asia, Harris emphasized the significance the region holds for U.S. defense.

She also emphasized the significant U.S. economic ties there, noting that Southeast Asia represents the America’s fourth largest export market.

On Monday, Harris told sailors aboard a U.S. combat ship at the Changi naval base in Singapore that ‘a big part of the history of the 21st century will be written about this very region’ and that their work defending the region was pivotal.

‘It is in our vital interest to stand united with our allies and our partners in Southeast Asia in defense of a free and open Indo-Pacific,’ she said.

Harris also met Monday with Singapore President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

The vice president’s office announced a number of agreements out of that meeting aimed at combating cyberthreats, tackling climate change, addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and alleviating supply chain issues.

After her speech Tuesday, Harris held a roundtable discussion with business leaders on supply chain issues.

President Joe Biden himself has repeatedly emphasized his focus on China as one of America’s main adversaries.

In recent months, his administration has ramped up outreach to the Indo-Pacific region, with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Austin both visiting the area in the spring and summer.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken also held a number of virtual meetings with Southeast Asian officials earlier this month.

The chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, however, complicated that message of support to the region, raising questions about the U.S. commitment to its allies.

While Biden said last week that an indefinite engagement would have benefited ‘true strategic competitors’ China and Russia, China has seized on the images of violence from the evacuation to slam the U.S. for its engagement there.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Monday that the U.S. had done ‘unscrupulous and dishonest things’ in Afghanistan and called on the nation to help rebuild.

‘The United States is the root cause and the biggest external factor in the Afghan issue,’ Wenbin said.

‘It cannot just run away like this.’

But Harris, during a joint news conference with Prime Minister Lee on Monday, said that her presence in the country, combined with the agreements around greater cooperation that the Biden administration has pursued with Indo-Pacific countries, speak ‘volumes in terms of the integrity of the relationships that the United States has around the world on many issues.’

‘She’s the VP NOT the Joker’: Meghan McCain slams Kamala Harris for LAUGHING at reporter who asked about Afghanistan crisis ‘like she’s walking onto a late ni

In a tweet, McCain compared the vice president’s laugh to that of the Joker in the 2019 movie

Kamala Harris has been likened to Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker by Meghan McCain after she was filmed laughing nervously moments before discussing the Afghanistan crisis.

‘This may be some kind of real issue (like Joaquin Phoenix in the Joker), but she’s the Vice President and she’s [had] ample time and resources to media [to] train herself out of reacting to every SINGLE crisis like she’s walking onto a late night show,’ McCain tweeted on Monday, adding: ‘She comes off so craven.’

In the 2019 movie The Joker, Joaquin Phoenix’s character suffers from uncontrollable laughter, often at inappropriate moments. He was eventually driven mad and became the titular Batman villain.

McCain took aim after the Vice President faced a group of reporters as she prepared to depart for Singapore on Friday amidst the growing chaos in Afghanistan.

Harris began to nervously laugh as a reporter started to ask her an urgent question, which she cut off, but assumed was about Afghanistan.

‘Hold on, hold on, hold on,’ Harris said before the reporter could finish.

‘Slow down, everybody,’ she said after a big laugh.

‘And in particular, high priority is making sure that we safely evacuate American citizens, Afghans who worked with us, Afghans at risk, including women and children, and that is one of our highest if not the highest priority right now.’

‘And it’s a big area of focus for me in the past days and weeks, and will continue to be,’ she added.

A video of the exchange has gone viral on social media, with many claiming her laugh was inappropriate in light of the dangerous situation in the country.