The Havana Syndrome remains a mystery and a subject of interest. But the latest report via Buzzfeed suggests that “much of the early research into the mystery may have been botched or biased.”
The initial investigation was confined to two competing sets of researchers, both eager to publish studies on their own work, and whose findings have been at odds with each other. In one case, researchers were also seeking to promote their own newly approved medical device as a diagnostic tool. And until now, the effort has lacked broader oversight by an institution capable of cross-disciplinary research.
“The fundamental problem is you can’t trust anybody here,” said medical ethicist Sergio Litewka of the University of Miami, who has written about the political cloud of secrecy and distrust surrounding the diplomats’ injuries. “Not the US State Department and not the Cuban government.” (BuzzFeed has filed a lawsuit with the State Department requesting its communications related to the medical research into the injuries, after the agency denied a request for them on medical privacy and ongoing investigation grounds.)
Can somebody please ask the new “M” Brian Bulatao what’s his plan about this matter going forward? Can an “America First” policy over everything afford to have this medical mystery just go unsolved? What happened to the Accountability Review Board reportedly convened by the former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The ARB process doesn’t stop when the secretary of state is fired via tweet, does it? What happens to those affected? What happens to those affected who were not employed by the U.S. government (spouses and children)? What happens if those affected leave their jobs voluntarily or involuntarily? What arrangements are made in terms of medical care? What’s the plan if a similar incident were to happen at another part of the globe?
We missed this 4-part report from Canada:
The Havana Syndrome, Part 3: Insiders say ordeal has ‘struck a nerve’ in Canada’s diplomatic community
The Havana Syndrome, Part 4: What it could be and how experts will try to crack the case