Last week, President Trump signed the Arla Harrell Act into law, which is intended to secure VA benefits for World War II veterans who were exposed to chemicals in experiments. The bill, sponsored by Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt of Missouri, passed in the Senate the week before.
Arla Harrell is one of an estimated 400 surviving WWII veterans who were exposed to chemicals such as phosgene gas, mustard gas, and lewisite as part of an international testing operation.
Participants in the test were sworn to secrecy by threat of court-martial until the government lifted the oath in the 1990s. Prior to this date, participants could not tell their doctors the nature of their ailments.