The United States has launched an investigation into two cases of government officials suddenly contracting a mysterious illness near the White House. Both incidents happened in November 2020 and affected members of the National Security Council.
The first incident occurred the day after the presidential election. The unidentified official was walking past an unstaffed gate near the Ellipse when they began suffering from a headache. They continued to deal with headaches and trouble sleeping for about a week before the symptoms went away.
The second incident happened several weeks later, as a different official entered the White House. According to CNN, they suffered more severe symptoms that required medical treatment.
The two cases are similar to that of dozens of U.S. officials stationed around the globe. For the past five years, diplomats in Cuba, Russia, and China have reported suffering from chronic headaches, the sudden onset of vertigo, and a piercing noise in their ears.
Authorities have been struggling to identify the cause of the mysterious illness, known as "Havana Syndrome." A report from the National Academy of Sciences determined that the cause was likely a "directed, pulsed radiofrequency energy." Several intelligence officials brushed off the report, claiming it was based on circumstantial evidence.
"The problem with the handful (of episodes) that I know have happened here in this country (is) the smoking gun," an unidentified official told CNN. "We don't have the smoking gun."
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