clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

More than 130 U.S. officials suffered from ‘mysterious ailments’ while overseas

Mysterious ailments are becoming more widespread, creating episodes that left spies, diplomats, soldiers and others with brain injuries.

President Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Doug Emhoff participate in a moment of silence during a ceremony to honor the 500,000 Americans that died from COVID-19 on Feb. 22, 2021.
President Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Doug Emhoff participate in a moment of silence during a ceremony to honor the 500,000 Americans that died from COVID-19.
Evan Vucci, Associated Press

Current and former officials in the United States government recently told The New York Times that a series of “mysterious episodes” caused brain injuries among U.S. spies, diplomats, soldiers and other personnel overseas.

  • The “mysterious ailments” began five years ago, hurting more than 130 people with ties to the United States.
  • Symptoms include chronic symptoms and pain, as well as putting people at risk for suicide, The New York Times reports.

Who is to blame for these mysterious ailments?

The infected personnel includes members of the CIA, the State Department, the Defense Department and elsewhere, according to The New York Times. Cases popped up among personnel from China, Cuba, Europe and other countries around Asia.

  • These episodes have raised concern in the Biden administration. Pentagon officials have pointed the finger at Russia’s military, according to The New York Times.
  • “As of now, we have no definitive information about the cause of these incidents, and it is premature and irresponsible to speculate,” Amanda J. Schoch, spokeswoman for the office of the director of National Intelligence, told The New York Times.

Are these ‘mysterious, invisible attacks’ reported by the Pentagon?

It appears these “mysterious ailments” are linked to the “mysterious, invisible attacks” that happened on U.S. soil, which sickened members of the government, as I wrote about for the Deseret News. The attacks had been seen as a foreign threat. But recently, they hit closer to home, which has concerned officials.

The Pentagon said “the fact that such an attack might have taken place so close to the White House is particularly alarming,” according to CNN.

Officials still don’t know what to make of these attacks. But “investigators still haven’t completely ruled out the possibility that the symptoms are caused by some kind of naturally occurring phenomenon rather than a weapon,” according to CNN.