- President Biden signed the $768 billion defense spending bill into law on Monday.
- It includes $30 million for victims of Havana Syndrome, which officials believe is caused by directed-energy attacks.
- Over 200 US officials around the world are said to have reported symptoms of the mysterious illness.
The $768 billion US defense spending bill, signed into law by President Biden on Monday, includes a $30 million provision for victims of Havana Syndrome – a mysterious illness which officials believe is the result of directed-energy attacks by a hostile state.
The text of the National Defense Authorization Act shows a $30 million increase in funding for care for "anomalous health incidents," the term by which the US government describes the Havana Syndrome.
The syndrome refers to unexplained symptoms first reported in Havana, Cuba, in 2016, which include migraines, hearing loss, and brain damage.
US investigators and lawmakers increasingly believe the syndrome could be the result of directed-energy attacks perpetrated by a hostile state such as Russia. There is no evidence linking Russia to the attacks, however, and Moscow has denied that it is responsible for any such attacks.
The funding will be used to implement the HAVANA Act, a bill authored by Republican Sen. Susan Collins.
The HAVANA Act was signed into law in October and authorized the CIA and Secretary of State Antony Blinken to provide extra financial support to American officials who have incurred brain injuries likely from directed energy attacks, Sen. Collins' office said in an October statement.
"U.S. diplomats and members of the intelligence community who work both at home and abroad make many personal sacrifices to represent and protect America's interests. They deserve our strong support when they are harmed in the line of duty just as we care for our soldiers when they are injured on the battlefield," Sen. Collins said in the statement.
Over 200 US officials around the world have reported being affected by the illness, which is the subject of an ongoing investigation by federal authorities.
A National Academy of Sciences report published last year found that "directed, pulsed radio frequency energy" was the most likely cause of the mysterious illness, Insider's Alia Shoaib reported.
Some scientists have suggested the symptoms might be psychosomatic. Neurologist Robert Baloh has suggested Havana Syndrome symptoms could be the result of mass hysteria.
The Senate Intelligence Committee in October backed the National Academy of Sciences report, Politico reported in October.
Senator Marco Rubio, who sits on the committee, rejected claims that the syndrome was psychosomatic, per Politico.
"I think that's quackery," Rubio told Politico in October. "I'd invite them to explain that to the now-dozens of people who have suffered documented brain injuries that in many cases have made them incapable of ever working again."