That draft rule is expected to be published early next week and will not become final until after a 30-day period in which public comment will be solicited. The State Department, along with the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management, will consider the comments before enacting a final rule.
The State Department declined Thursday to discuss the amounts of the proposed payments but noted that the HAVANA Act authorizes it “to provide payments to personnel for certain qualifying injuries to the brain” and requires it to publish its plans for implementing such relief, which it said would happen “soon."
Despite nearly six years of investigation, scientists, physicians and government officials have been unable to determine the cause of the injuries, which some have speculated are the result of microwave or other types of attack from a foreign power. Russia is most often accused of being behind the alleged attacks, although there has been no evidence to back up such claims.
The mysterious injuries first began to be reported among U.S. embassy staff in Havana, Cuba, in late 2016 and have since spread to nearly 70 countries on all continents except Antarctica. The number of reports has tapered off dramatically since the beginning of this year.