U.S. evacuates American diplomats from China amid concerns over mystery illness

08 June, 2018, 16:31 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • Getty    
   SONIC ATTACK Two US citizen working in China have suffered brain injuries

More State Department employees have been evacuated.

Those attacks began sometime in mid-to-late 2016, according to USA officials who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.

The Associated Press reported that the evacuated staff from China are being sent to the University of Pennsylvania for testing, where doctors have tested former employees stationed in Havana.

"For the latest incident according to my information, the U.S. hasn't conducted any communication with China".

The location of the health alert was changed to "countrywide" from Guangzhou in the updated statement sent by email.

The New York Times identified the latest American employee evacuated as Mark A. Lenzi, a security engineering officer at the consulate who left Wednesday night with his wife and two children. He said they had not put them together until the State Department issued the health alert last month.

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The symptoms were similar to those found in the case of United States diplomatic personnel who worked in Cuba, including mild traumatic brain injury.

The U.S. made a decision to withdraw a large number of its diplomats stationed in Havana after 24 government employees and family members complained of hearing loss, tinnitus, headaches, dizziness, visual difficulties and fatigue.

"After almost a year of investigation that has drawn on intelligence, defense and technology expertise from across the USA government, the FBI has been unable to determine who might have attacked the diplomats or how".

In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said China had "said all the right things and have demonstrated their willingness to help us identify the vector which led to this medical incident".

Nauert on Wednesday reiterated that the "safety and security of US personnel and their families is our top priority".

"The State Department has been and will continue to be diligent and transparent in its response to our employees' concerns", she added.

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USA experts have said they know of no technology that would explain the symptoms.

"Practically all Chinese people do not believe that this country's official organizations would carry out such sonic attacks against USA diplomats".

The incidents have raised fears the unexplained issues that started in Cuba in 2016 have expanded. The embassy's statement, however, mentioned that the health issue can not be linked with the one that a United States embassy staffer suffered in Cuba 2016. Cuba does not have an adversarial relationship with Canada, but Ottawa and Moscow have recently clashed over Canadian sanctions. 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.

A study earlier this year outlined the extensiveness of the problem, but the State Department has not pointed to a specific cause behind the mysterious incidents.

A USA official said the evacuated Americans are being brought for testing to the University of Pennsylvania.

The U.S. Embassy in China issued a second health alert on Friday warning its citizens about a mystery illness apparently caused by unexplained sounds that has already caused several diplomats and family members to be evacuated from the country. Washington says it's taking the odd illness seriously.

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