Mark Lenzi, a Department of State official who sustained traumatic brain injuries while on assignment in Guangzhou, China, accused the department of hiding the source of his and other diplomats’ ailments and withdrawing information from Congress.
According to Lenzi, the State Department was doing its own medical tests to evaluate patients who experienced “directed energy exposure” on foreign soil. The disclosure forms of two victims were provided to Politico. Lenzi was on assignment in Guangzhou in late 2017 and was evaluated in June 2018. He was sent home days after a medical test. He was diagnosed with a brain injury on July 22, 2018.
Politico reported that lawmakers were not briefed on the State Department’s medical tests for directed energy exposure until early 2021. Lenzi claimed leaders in the State Department have retaliated against him for speaking out about the issue and working with Congress as it investigates the matter, Politico reported.
The federal agency that handles whistleblower claims previously found “a substantial likelihood of wrongdoing” in the case of Lenzi and his claims of retaliation, according to an April 2020 Office of Special Counsel (OSC) memo. The retaliation probe is still underway. Lenzi’s administrative leave was revoked without explanation, according to Politico.
More than 200 American personnel – diplomats and intelligence officers alike – in foreign countries and on U.S. soil have suffered from unexplained health incidents since 2016. “The State Department has not treated this syndrome as seriously as it should. And that is very disturbing to me,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).