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 month, US officials told Reuters on Monday.
The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said there were now over 100 cases of TBI, up from the 64 that had been previously reported last month.
The Pentagon declined to comment.
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 general 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.”
More details soon …