VP Harris' trip to Vietnam temporarily delayed

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Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip to Vietnam was thrown off for several hours Tuesday due to what the U.S. embassy in Hanoi said was an “anomalous health incident” there.

Reporters accompanying the vice president were ushered back to their hotel rooms before being ferried back to the airport more than three hours later.

Harris was scheduled to travel from Singapore to Hanoi, Vietnam as part of a multiday trip to Asia. The Biden administration said the trip will continue.

“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,” according to a statement posted to the U.S. embassy in Hanoi’s website.

Additional details were not immediately available.

Anomalous health incidents is the phrase the U.S. government uses to classify the mysterious brain injuries, referred to as “Havana syndrome,” first reported by U.S. officials stationed in Cuba. Dozens of cases have been reported elsewhere, though the official cause of the affliction remains unsettled.

A spokesperson for the vice president did not immediately respond to an email seeking additional information regarding the incident that led to the delay.

Earlier Tuesday the vice president gave a speech condemning the Chinese government’s actions in the South China Sea and reaching out to other countries in Asia.

“Our engagement in Southeast Asia and Indo-Pacific is not against any one country, nor is it designed to make anyone choose between countries,” she said. “Instead, our engagement is about advancing an optimistic vision that we have for our participation and partnership in this region.”

Harris’ previous international trip was overshadowed by the specter of the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, an area that has bedeviled the Biden administration since taking office in January.

Harris is due to become the first vice president to visit Vietnam since North and South Vietnam were reunited in 1975. Previous vice presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon visited Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, prior to reunification.

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