Biden’s debate performance attributed to directed energy beam, says ex-spy

Fred Duval/ShutterStock OihaArt/ShutterStock Cynthia/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

The latest excuse for Biden’s poor debate performance? Havana Syndrome

Why not?


Marlon Ettinger


After a sluggish, raspy, and concerningly low-energy performance from President Joe Biden in the debate against former President Donald Trump last Thursday, speculation about what the Democratic party should do next has filled airwaves and computer screens. Some of Biden’s allies are reportedly calling him “toast,” while others are hoping for an open convention where he can be replaced as the candidate. 

Plenty of Biden’s allies jumped to his defense despite acknowledging that the debate was less than ideal and others have openly criticized the performance while still reiterating their support for the candidate.

Aides close to Biden leaked to the press that the Biden on display during debate night was one they saw often in the evening. Biden, who’s 81, performs a lot worse after 4pm they said. Other recriminations from Biden’s team blamed having a cold, being overprepared, and getting a bad makeup job. 

But some people are saying there’s an alternate explanation for Biden’s performance: a directed energy beam attack from Russia.

“🧵🚨 URGENT: Scientist whose previous work included directed energy beam research for the US intelligence community said Biden’s symptoms during the CNN debate made him think of the Havana Syndrome,” posted Igor Sushko on X over a clip comparing Biden’s crummy debate performance to one of him much more energetic at a rally the next morning. “This is according to former KGB spy Yuri Shvets who defected to the US in 1993.”

Shvets has a YouTube channel where he posts news updates in Russian. In a video on Sunday, Shvets made the claims about Havana syndrome.

Shvets was a KGB major who worked in D.C. in the 1980s as a correspondent for Tass, the Russian wire news agency. In recent years he’s presented himself as an informed critic of Vladimir Putin’s government, claiming to have studied together with Putin at the Academy of Foreign Intelligence.

Shvets was also the main source for the 2021 book “American Kompromat” by Craig Unger, which claimed that Trump was cultivated by the KGB as far back as the late 70s.

A Guardian review of that book called into question its slap-dash reporting, noting it was full of “dozens and dozens of wild stories and salacious accusations, almost all ‘too good to check’, in the parlance of old-time journalists.”

Shvets cited a “former employee of a very serious American institution” who’s now a scientist researching the subject, and said there may be a way to target electromagnetic wave attacks against an individual like Biden similar to what American diplomats in Cuba first started reporting in 2016, a condition dubbed “Havana syndrome.” 

Sushko, a race car driver from Ukraine who’s affiliated with a pro-Ukraine D.C.-based think tank called the Wind of Change Research Group, explained that a source had told Shvets that “an energy beam could be precisely directed toward a person’s brain from a significant distance, and calibrated to cause the kind of milder symptoms, relatively speaking, exhibited by Biden during the debate.” 

“The fact that Russia’s IL-76 government plane landed in the US on June 27 before the debate and then left after the fact on June 29 could further suggest foul play,” claimed Sushko.

A National Institutes of Health study this March found no brain damage among government employees claiming to be victims, and energy beam attacks were ruled out as a likely cause.

“Early on, there was concern that Russia or another country may have used some form of directed energy to attack Americans,” reported the Associated Press. “But last year, U.S. intelligence agencies said there was no sign a foreign adversary was involved and that most cases appeared to have different causes, from undiagnosed illnesses to environmental factors.”

However, a recent 60 Minutes investigation found links between Russia and the alleged attacks. 

Shvet’s theory was quickly mocked online as a ridiculous example of people struggling to understand why an 81-year-old man might have a bad debate night.

“joe Brandon enjoyers explaining why he did bad in the debate,” posted @hueoops over a meme.

“This will never be topped. 2024 Cope Award winner,” said another.

The internet is chaotic—but we’ll break it down for you in one daily email. Sign up for the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter here to get the best (and worst) of the internet straight into your inbox.

The Daily Dot