Several more American diplomats have been sent home from China after falling ill from what are being described as “sonic attacks.”
The U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou announced Wednesday that it referred a “number of individuals” to doctors in the United States, flying them home to undergo “further evaluation and a comprehensive assessment of their symptoms.”
This is the second wave of officials sent home for treatment. Last month, another employee in the Guangzhou consulate suffered symptoms similar to those associated with a traumatic brain injury after reporting “abnormal sensations of sound and pressure.”
The symptoms appear similar to those suffered by American consulate members in Cuba, who complained of dizziness, nausea, and short-term memory loss after hearing a constant, low hum — accompanied by vibrations — through the walls of their Cuban hotel rooms. The United States pulled all American diplomats out of Cuba and shuttered the embassy, believing the sound to be a “sonic attack” coordinated by the Cuban government.
This time around, the United States is being more diplomatic, but no less careful. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Wednesday that he is creating a task force to investigate the “sonic attacks” and to determine whether the “sensations of sound and pressure” are part of a larger effort to harm American emissaries in China.
The Chinese government says the United States has not informed them of any sick officials, and that they will provide their own investigators to handle the claims.