HAVANA TIMES – A dozen neurologists and other brain scientists have questioned an investigation supported by the US government to consider that 26 of its diplomats suffered an attack of unknown origin and claim that it contains errors, reported dpa news.
The “Journal of the American Medical Association” (JAMA), a prestigious publication of the American medical community, today published four different letters from experts that question the investigation that, commissioned by the US government, was made by a team from the University of Pennsylvania.
The Government of Donald Trump assures that since November 2016, a total of 26 diplomats who worked in Cuba and relatives suffered health disorders due to attacks of unknown origin that caused them hearing loss, dizziness, buzzing, headaches, fatigue, cognitive problems and sleep difficulties, among other symptoms.
The US administration does not accuse Cuba of the attacks but does blame its government for not protecting US diplomats as required by the Vienna Convention. In response, the State Department withdrew the majority of its embassy staff in Havana and expelled 15 Cuban diplomats from Washington as a measure of reciprocity.
The critical scientists who sent their letters to JAMA point out, among other things, that the University of Pennsylvania team’s research misinterpreted test results, dismissed psychological explanations for the symptoms, and overlooked common disorders that could have caused discomfort in the affected.
“More research is needed,” said Gerard J. Gianoli, of the Ear and Balance Institute in Louisiana, and two other experts, who say the results point more to damage to the inner ear than to a concussion.
The results of the study of the team of the University of Pennsylvania “reflect an incorrect interpretation of the results of objective cognitive tests,” says Robert Shura, a clinical neuropsychologist in North Carolina, and two other experts.
In its travel alert on Cuba, the State Department has linked the article about that investigation published in February in the JAMA, which concludes that the diplomats had similar injuries to concussions caused by an extended damage to the brain networks.
Although the origin of these types of health problems remains unknown, the United States continues to classify them as “attacks”. Initially it spoke of “acoustic attacks”, but the State Department later said that it considered other possibilities, such as a “viral” attack.