The veil of secrecy surrounding the White House’s travel continued on Tuesday morning, as Vice President Kamala Harris’s departure from Singapore was delayed for unreported reasons.
“Kamala Harris’s departure from Singapore was delayed for an unknown reason,” Bloomberg reported, as cited by Disclose TV. “Unclear how long she will remain in Singapore.”
“Vice President Kamala Harris is set to depart Singapore on Tuesday, more than two hours later than originally scheduled, according to a White House official, after an unspecified delay,” Bloomberg reported.
“The official said reporters would be briefed on the reason for the delay on their way to the airport following a planned 6:30 p.m. local time departure from the hotel,” the report added. It is unclear why the reason was not immediately given.
Update: The reported reason was Havana Syndrome.
Wow: US Embassy in Hanoi says the Vice President’s traveling delegation was delayed from departing Singapore because VPs office was made aware of a report of a recent possible anomalous health incident in Hanoi. Anomalous health incident is what the USG calls Havana Syndrome. pic.twitter.com/1jqNsQMIeW
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) August 24, 2021
“Harris had been scheduled to depart Singapore for Vietnam, the second leg of a trip to Southeast Asia, at 4 p.m. local time,” the report continued. “Reporters traveling with the vice president were abruptly sent back to the Shangri-La hotel shortly after 3:30 p.m. local time after being loaded into vans for the planned departure from Paya Lebar Air Base.”
“While presidential and vice presidential trips can often run behind schedule, a delay of this type is unusual,” the report noted.
The vice president has already made waves by going on the visit to Singapore and Vietnam during a time of foreign policy crisis in the United States. While in Singapore on Monday, Vice President Harris dodged giving reporters a direct answer on the situation in Afghanistan.
“So, I understand and appreciate why you asked the question. And I think there’s going to be plenty of time to analyze what has happened and what has taken place in the context of the withdrawal from Afghanistan,” Harris said. “But right now, we are singularly focused on evacuating American citizens, Afghans who worked with us, and Afghans who are vulnerable, including women and children.”
Harris also put a rosy spin on the debacle by boasting about the “successful drawdown” of the U.S. embassy in Kabul.
“On the issue of Afghanistan, and to that end, we have seen a successful drawdown of the embassy,” Harris claimed.
Before the trip to Singapore, Harris was confronted on the Afghanistan foreign policy imbroglio. As Harris approached the press, her demeanor changed from one of mirth to one of of sobriety about the dire situation.
“We couldn’t have a higher priority right now,” she said. “In particular, our priority is making sure that we safely evacuate American citizens. Afghans who worked with us. Afghans at-risk, including women and children. And that is one of our highest, if not our highest priority right now.”
While in Singapore, however, Harris predominately emphasized that a saber-rattling China is now threatening Taiwan. The vice president pointed out the obvious Chinese belligerence.
“Beijing’s actions continue to undermine the rules-based order and threaten the sovereignty of nations,” she said.
The White House has maintained a level of secrecy about its official visits and travel; understandable to a degree for security reasons. But President Biden has also traveled to Delaware 18 times, one time during the Afghanistan collapse. and refuses to release the visitor logs. The true reason for Harris’s delay departing Singapore may be forthcoming, but as for now, it remains another unknown about a Biden administration that has lacked transparency.
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