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'Anomalous Health Incident' Delays Kamala Harris' Flight

Outlets suggest it might be related to Havana syndrome, not COVID
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2021 11:35 AM CDT
'Anomalous Health Incident' Delays Kamala Harris' Flight
Vice President Kamala Harris takes questions from media as she visits the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay, following her foreign policy speech, in Singapore Tuesday.   (Evelyn Hockstein/Pool Photo via AP)

(Newser) – A vaguely worded statement from the State Department about a hiccup in Vice President Kamala Harris' travel plans seems to be raising more questions than it answers. Harris flew from Singapore to Vietnam on Thursday, but the flight took off only after a three-hour delay, reports the Hill. The official explanation:

  • "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 department said. "After careful assessment, the decision was made to continue with the Vice President's trip."

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So what exactly is an "anomalous health incident"? You might reasonably suspect something related to COVID, but both CNN and Bloomberg were quick to point out that the State Department uses that exact wording in reference to the mysterious ailment plaguing diplomats abroad known as Havana syndrome. So far, no further details have surfaced about who got sick or with what ailment. Harris, the first US vice president to visit Vietnam, is scheduled to spend two days there, per Al Jazeera. (The VP used her speech in Singapore to deliver a public warning about China.)

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