Published: Sat, June 09, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

More Consulate Workers Evacuated After Mystery Illness Strikes Americans In China

More Consulate Workers Evacuated After Mystery Illness Strikes Americans In China

A medical team was sent by the State Department to the consulate in Guangzhou last Friday and has been conducting tests on diplomats and their family members who request them. The Guangzhou employee was found to have similar symptoms on May 16.

Reacting to the reports of the mysterious sound attacks on the U.S. diplomats, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing on Thursday that Beijing had investigated the May 23 allegation and found no clue. Those symptoms included dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, fatigue, cognitive issues, visual problems, ear complaints and hearing loss, and difficulty sleeping, the State Department said at the time.

The State Department says one employee from the consulate in the southern city of Guangzhou, who has already been evacuated from China, was found to have exhibited symptoms "consistent" with the Cuba incident, after hearing unusual noises in his apartment and showing signs of brain injury.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Thursday that as far as she was aware, the government had not had any formal communication with USA officials on any new cases, and that it had investigated an initial incident. The State Department said it suspects the noises were part of a targeted attack, and accused Cuba of not doing enough to protect American diplomats.

Early tests showed that the American worker in China had similar medical results to someone who has experienced a mild traumatic brain injury or concussion.

On June 5, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the establishment of a task force meant to respond to these mysterious incidents.

Diplomats from other countries posted in China had not reported experiencing the "weird disease", the editorial said.

The US Embassy in Cuba after the US government pulled more than half of its diplomatic personnel out of Cuba who suffered health problems due to an alleged sonic attack in 2017. Cuba does not have an adversarial relationship with Canada, but Ottawa and Moscow have recently clashed over Canadian sanctions.

But with Americans now exhibiting similar symptoms in Guangzhou, US officials have raised suspicions about whether other countries, perhaps China or Russian Federation, might be to blame.

Steve Goldstein, the then-undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs, said it took time to set up the ARB because "we were hopeful that we would be able to know what occurred", but the investigation has taken longer than officials anticipated.

A new medical mystery affecting US diplomatic workers, this time in China, is deepening.

The diplomats have complained of symptoms that are similar to those "following concussion or minor traumatic brain injury" and that seem to have been the result of odd sounds, the State Department has said.

Nauert again stressed that the department was taking the incident "very seriously and working to determine the cause and impact of the incident".

Lenzi also contends that his security clearance was frozen after he attempted to bring attention to the issue, effectively barring him from work at the consulate, and that he is now calling for the resignation of the US ambassador to China, who is based in Beijing.

"The Chinese government has assured us they are also investigating and taking appropriate measures", she said.

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