Health

“My brain is broken”: Former CIA analyst struggling with Havana Syndrome says she has not received promised care

Despite public assurances of medical care and monetary assist by congressional laws for these affected by the mysterious well being situation referred to as Havana Syndrome, a CBS News investigation has recognized greater than a dozen present and former authorities operatives, and in some instances members of the family, who say the federal government has not had their again. 
 
“I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to work again. I mean, I’ve lost everything,” former CIA analyst Erika Stith instructed CBS News as a part of a monthslong investigation.   
 
“We got this as a result of serving our country. And we deserve to be taken care of,” Stith stated. 
 
Stith, who says she held a Top-Secret safety clearance, instructed CBS News senior investigative correspondent Catherine Herridge, “My brain is broken.” 
 
She believes her situation stems from a 2018 “directed energy attack” whereas on task for the CIA in Europe. 
 
Stith stated she suffers from nausea, complications, blurred imaginative and prescient, and stability and reminiscence points. At first, she blamed her struggling on a previous concussion, however her stability grew to become so unsteady she fell down the steps, cracking her ribs. It was her personal mom who first suspected it may very well be due to her time serving within the CIA. 
 
“Honestly, she had been asking me for six months, ‘This Havana Syndrome thing, do you think you could have that?'” Stith recalled. 
 
Havana Syndrome is a mysterious set of cognitive and neurological illnesses named after instances first reported amongst diplomats on the U.S. embassy in Cuba. 
 
“It is a well-conceived global program to attack Americans,” former deputy nationwide safety adviser Charles Kupperman stated. He tracked suspected Havana Syndrome assaults for the Trump administration. 
 
Kupperman instructed Herridge he believes the quantity of people that have reported Havana Syndrome incidents is close to 1,000 for those who embrace members of the family with signs. He stated it does not simply occur abroad — two of Kupperman’s authorities staffers have been reportedly attacked simply steps from the White House.

“It tells us that somebody is very serious about sending us a message that they can reach out and do very bad things to our employees at the highest levels,” Kupperman stated. 
 
Last year, President Biden signed laws for medical and monetary assist for US personnel affected by Havana Syndrome which is also called Anomalous Health Incidents or AHIs. But an e mail obtained by CBS News suggests entry to a key authorities remedy program at a navy hospital for some victims might finish in three weeks. 
 
“As President Biden has underscored, protecting Americans and all those who have served our country is our primary duty. Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our workforce who have devoted their careers to protecting our nation,” Maher Bitar, the National Security Council’s Anomalous Health Incidents Interagency Coordinator, instructed CBS News in a press release. “We remain intensely focused on providing rapid and effective care to affected personnel and we are bringing the full resources of the U.S. Government to bear to determine the cause of anomalous health incidents.” 
 
“For us to abandon them now is really a disgraceful act,” stated Kupperman. 
 
After CBS News contacted the National Security Council in regards to the e mail indicating care might finish in late June, a spokesman stated: 
 

“DoD’s Special Secretarial Designation, which authorizes non-Military Health System (MHS) beneficiaries access to treatment for AHI in the MHS, must be renewed annually. The NSC is working with the Department of Defense (DoD) to confirm that current and former NSC personnel who require continued care have their authorizations extended as needed. 
 
“The NSC is dedicated to making sure that our present and former personnel who’ve skilled an AHI obtain the specialised medical care that they want for so long as they want it. It is our precedence to assist the women and men who serve our nation.” 

Stith’s documents show she spent months going back and forth with the CIA for care as a former employee but ultimately declined to share her medical records with the agency.   
 
“By the time they got here again to me and stated, ‘OK, we have now a course of in place,’ I had already efficiently talked my means right into a remedy program and I had managed to make that occur privately and have been paying for it myself,” she said. 
 
Stith said she “utterly” gave up on the CIA process and wants other people who believe they developed their ailments as a result of serving the country to know that they “should be taken care of.” 
 
Stith who recently applied through CIA for permanent disability under the Havana Act now uses hearing aids and takes up to 20 pills a day. Stith told CBS News she can only do one or two tasks each day. Simple errands like going to the supermarket, she said, can be overwhelming. 

Newly married, Stith stated she and her husband can’t contemplate beginning a household. “There are medications that are contraindicated for pregnancy. It would not be safe,” she instructed Herridge. “And on top of that, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to work again. I mean, I’ve lost everything.” 

In a press release to CBS News, a CIA spokesperson stated: 

“Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our workforce and CIA family.  Anomalous Health Incidents (AHIs) cut right to the core of this profound obligation. We are focused on ensuring our officers and their families access the care they need.  In parallel, we continue to bring all resources to bear to explore all possible causes in our ongoing investigations.   

“We are working carefully throughout the interagency to make sure that officers have entry to obtainable advantages.  That work is ongoing. As a part of that method, we’re grateful for the passage of the HAVANA Act which is able to allow the distribution of further advantages to qualifying people.  We are working with Congress and the interagency on implementation.

“We cannot address individual cases.  We take all reports of health concerns seriously.  The IC’s interim findings reported in January remain valid today; no evidence has been found so far tying a foreign or hostile actor to any of the more than 1000 reported health incidents worldwide. We have found multiple causes to reports which is why we continue to work with our USG partners to bring every resource to bear to investigate all causes.”

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