A CIA doctor remembers feeling "disbelief" after being inflicted with Havana syndrome while in Cuba to investigate the mysterious debilitating symptoms being reported by U.S. diplomats.
"This can't be happening," Dr. Paul Andrews told CNN, using an assumed name to keep his identity secret, recalling the morning after his first night in Havana to investigate reports of the ailment in 2017. "And I sat on the edge of the bed for a minute, and things were getting worse and worse and worse.
"I'm really in disbelief. And I start to think, is this a dream? I had no idea."
Havana syndrome is known medically as AHI (anomalous health incidents) and considered a brain injury where balance, nausea, and general brain fog are the symptoms, according to the report.
Andrews went to Cuba to investigate just two months after the first reports in the summer of 2017. He woke up suddenly at 5 a.m. ET with a disturbance that included pain in his right ear, nausea, and a splitting headache, while hearing a clicking sound he had only heard before on audio clips detailing the reported "pulsed electromagnetic energy" signals, he told CNN.
Andrews said he went into the bathroom and put on headphones for 45 minutes but the symptoms did not subside, and he checked out of the hotel by 6 a.m., struggling to open doors, suffering from short-term memory loss, and reporting dizziness and being disoriented when fumbling with his credit card and ID.
Despite the dozens of reports sharing similar stories, the origins or causes of it remain unsolved by the CIA or the medical community.
"The narrative just was going the wrong way, and no matter what I did or said to people, that just continued," Andrews told CNN, lamenting CIA leadership on the issue. "In fact, to this day, a lot of things that were done seemed not appropriate to my standards.
"Another person at one point told me as an aside that he or she thought that they may have been hit and that they're hearing and or pain in their ear was present, and I said, 'are you gonna report this?' And they said, 'absolutely not.'"
Andrew notes symptoms still persist to varying degrees.
"It gets to the point where you just don't want to go out of the house because you say, 'What's the point? I want to go do this, but I know it’s going to make me sick; I don't want to be nauseated; I don't want to be tripping and falling,'" Andrews told CNN.
"It's very frustrating that all those things you want to do, you can't.
"I certainly learned about the condition more than I wanted to learn."
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