News & Politics

Kamala Harris's Trip to Vietnam Delayed Over 'Anomalous Health Incident'

Kamala Harris's Trip to Vietnam Delayed Over 'Anomalous Health Incident'
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Kamala Harris’s planned trip to Vietnam on Tuesday was delayed for hours over an “anomalous health incident” in Hanoi.

“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,” the U.S. embassy in Hanoi said in a statement. “After careful assessment, the decision was made to continue with the vice president’s trip.”

What exactly is an “anomalous health incident?”

According to Bloomberg News, “The State Department has frequently used the phrase ‘anomalous health incidents’ to describe so-called Havana syndrome, which has afflicted dozens of U.S. diplomats and intelligence officials who describe feeling ill and other unusual physical sensations after hearing strange sounds. The U.S. has not determined a cause for the affliction, and the White House on Tuesday declined to say if the individual’s symptoms were similar to those in other Havana Syndrome cases.”

The Daily Mail reports that two U.S. staffers have inexplicably fallen ill, but the incidents happened in the staffers’ homes in Hanoi, not the U.S. Embassy, as most are working from home due to COVID-19.

Harris eventually made it to Vietnam. Her spokeswoman Symone Sanders insists everything is fine. “You saw her get onto the plane. She is well, all is fine.”

Havana syndrome, which is surprisingly not deemed racist (yet), was first reported in 2016 when a staffer at the U.S. Embassy in Cuba suffered headaches, hearing loss, memory loss, and other symptoms. Some of those afflicted by it required months of medical treatment.

Kamala was clearing hoping this trip would put some daylight between her and Joe Biden. Instead, it has sparked criticism from many for her going on the trip as thousands of Americans remain stranded in Afghanistan.