CIA Director Says He Is Escalating Efforts To Solve ‘Havana Syndrome’ Mystery

Sumary of CIA Director Says He Is Escalating Efforts To Solve ‘Havana Syndrome’ Mystery:

  • CIA Director William Burns says he has appointed a senior officer who led the hunt for Osama bin Laden to head the investigation into ailments that afflicted U.S. officials around the world.
  • Ian Morton/NPR hide caption toggle caption Ian Morton/NPR CIA Director William Burns says he has appointed a senior officer who led the hunt for Osama bin Laden to head the investigation into ailments that afflicted U.S. officials around the world.
  • Ian Morton/NPR CIA Director William Burns says he has redoubled the agency’s efforts to uncover the cause of Havana Syndrome — the mysterious set of ailments that has afflicted more than 200 U.S. officials and family members around the world.
  • That includes the assignment of a senior officer who once led the hunt for Osama bin Laden to lead the investigation and tripling the size of a medical team involved in the probe, Burns told NPR on Thursday in his first sit-down interview since being confirmed as the agency’s chief in March.
  • “I am absolutely determined — and I’ve spent a great deal of time and energy on this in the four months that I’ve been CIA director — to get to the bottom of the question of what and who caused this,” Burns said.
  • In a wide-ranging, exclusive interview with NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly, Burns also discussed the agency’s future in Afghanistan and the theory that the coronavirus was caused by a leak from a Chinese state-run laboratory in Wuhan.
  • Havana Syndrome is “real, and it’s serious,” Burns says Under Burns’ direction, the agency has tripled the number of full-time medical personnel at the CIA who are focused on Havana Syndrome and shortened the waiting period for afflicted personnel to be admitted to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
  • “I’m certainly persuaded that what our officers and some family members, as well as other U.S. government employees have experienced is real, and it’s serious,” Burns said.

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