More than 100 US troops suffered traumatic brain suffered traumatic brain in Iran strike,to report

The Guardian

Guardian staff and agencies in Washington

Tue 11 Feb 2020 

TBI cases jump more than 50% from the 64 reported Trump previously downplayed reports of brain injury

US soldiers clear rubble at Ain al-Asad military airbase in the western Iraq province of US soldiers clear rubble at Ain al-Asad military airbase in the western Iraq province of Anbar on 13 January.

The US military is preparing to report a more than 50% jump in the number of cases of traumatic brain injury (TBI) stemming from Iran’s missile attack on a base in Iraq last

traumatic brain injury (TBI) stemming from Iran’s missile attack on a base in Iraq last month, US officials told Reuters on Monday.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said there were now more than 100 cases of TBI, up from the 64 that had been previously reported last month.

The Pentagon declined to comment, but in the past had said to expect an increase in numbers in the weeks after the attack because symptoms can take time to manifest and numbers in the 

numbers in the weeks after the attack because symptoms can take time to manifest and numbers in the weeks after the attack because symptoms can take time to manifest and

troops can sometimes take longer to report them.

Donald Trump had previously said that the US “suffered no casualties” from the attack,which was a reprisal for the US drone strike assassination of the Iranian Gen Qassem Suleimani.

Questioned later about reports of brain injury, Trump downplayed their severity: “I heard that they had headaches. And a couple of other things. But I would say, and I can report, it is

not very serious.”

Speaking after Trump’s remarks, Michael Kaplen, the chair of the New York State Traumatic Brain Injury Services Coordinating Council and past president of the Brain Injury

Association of New York State, said that the condition is a “life-altering” injury.

“It’s physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioral consequences affect every aspect of an individual’s life,” he said. “A brain injury is only ‘mild’ if it is someone else’s brain.

 There is nothing ‘mild’ about a mild brain injury.”

Army general Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last month that the service members suffering from traumatic brain injuries had been diagnosed with mild

cases. He added the diagnosis could change as time went on.

Pentagon officials have repeatedly said there has been no effort to minimize or delay information on concussive injuries. But the disclosures following Tehran’s attack have

renewed questions over the US military’s policy regarding how it internally reports

suspected brain injuries and whether they are treated publicly with the same urgency as loss of limb or life.


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