The State Department has called in assistance from medical experts in federal agencies and across the U.S. to investigate a series of mysterious incidents involving diplomats who fell ill after reporting hearing strange sounds while stationed overseas.
NBC News reported Friday that the Trump administration's ongoing efforts to respond to reports of diplomats reporting strange symptoms after deployments in Cuba and China now involve at least seven federal agencies and experts from four states, as the government seeks to unravel the mystery behind the attacks.
"There’s several research projects ongoing at the military," Dr. Michael Hoffer, a former military physician, told NBC. Hoffer worked with diplomats from Cuba alongside doctors from the University of Pittsburgh, according to NBC.
"This research is going to lead us to a solution, but we really have to support that research," he added.
Just under 400 U.S. officials have reportedly been tested for symptoms related to the mysterious attacks over the past year, with many calling for transparency from the federal government about what or who is behind what the U.S. has called "targeted health attacks."
The issue has driven a wedge in U.S.-Cuba relations, which improved under the Obama administration with the resumption of normal diplomatic ties with Cuba and the establishment of a U.S. Embassy in the country.
"These families who are not seeing each other, businesses that are not growing as a result and lives divided with not a really good solution and no prospects on the horizon for a fix," James Williams, president of U.S.-Cuba relations advocacy group Engage Cuba, told NBC. "It’s just untenable."
The State Department says the attacks seem to have slowed, as no new incidents have been reported recently. The department, however, has said medical attention was available for U.S. diplomats who suspect they may have been affected by such attacks.
"To date, each report has been carefully evaluated and there have been no new incidents that are cause for concern," the State Department said, according to NBC. "Medical screening is available around the world for embassy personnel who may raise a concern."