U.S. Evacuates Multiple Employees From Chinese Consulate Over Mysterious Illness

U.S. Evacuates Multiple Employees From Chinese Consulate Over Mysterious Illness

The United States has evacuated government workers out of the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou after medical testing revealed they might have been affected by unexplained health incidents that have already hurt U.S. personnel in Cuba, the State Department said Wednesday.

The State Department says it sent a medical team to Guangzhou to screen any employees or family members who requested a test.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said "a number of individuals" had been brought to the U.S. but didn't say how many were affected or evacuated. Many of the Cubans I spoke with seemed confident the sonic attacks had been invented by the USA diplomatic community in Havana as an excuse to withdraw their staff in the face of rising tensions with Washington.

Vehicles pass by high-rise apartment buildings in The Canton Place where USA government workers experienced unexplained illnesses.

Cuba has denied targeting embassy staff, and the USA has not blamed the country's government for the suspected attacks.

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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.

Mark Lenzi, a security-engineering officer at the consulate, left the consulate Wednesday evening with his wife and two children after experiencing odd sounds like marbles rolling around a metal funnel that he connected to neurological symptoms. Though the State Department claimed in May that it was unaware of other cases, Lenzi told The Washington Post that he repeatedly informed the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the State Department headquarters in Washington about his symptoms.

The preliminary findings of the medical reports on the 24 individuals affected in Cuba indicated that they had sensory and memory problems similar to brain dysfunctions often associated with concussions.

Lenzi also said the employee evacuated last month was his next-door neighbor, a fellow Foreign Service officer who was diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury.

Canada in April also ordered families of diplomatic staff in Cuba to return home after mysterious health symptoms were detected in 10 Canadians stationed on the island.

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On Wednesday, the State Department said it was evacuating several more Americans from Guangzhou for further health screenings.

USA experts have said they know of no technology that would explain the symptoms. The State Department distanced itself from Trump's claim, but it did expel 15 Cuban diplomats from Washington a year ago.

There are still no answers to the mystery behind the brain injury sustained in the first case, although US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on May 23 it was "very similar and entirely consistent with the medical indications that have taken place to Americans working in Cuba".

It's also the only United States diplomatic installation in China authorized to process immigrant visas and handle adoptions.

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