Despite repeated statements from President Donald Trump that “no one was hurt” in Iran’s missile attack on two military bases in Iraq, the Pentagon now says 11 U.S. service members were treated for concussion symptoms.
The disclosure of U.S. injuries at the base seemingly contradicts the president’s reassurances that “nobody was hurt.” But Defense Department officials on Jan. 17 said that top Pentagon officials and White House staffers were only notified about the cases of traumatic brain injury on Jan. 16, and that Trump was likely not aware of them because such injuries are not required to be reported up the chain of command.
Prior to that, however, the Washington Post reported on Jan. 13 that “several dozen U.S. troops were later treated for concussion as a result of the missile strikes,” citing “military officials on the base.” And, in an interview with AFP published on Jan. 14, Lt. Col. Tim Garland described the scene on the ground during the nearly three-hour assault. According to the AFP story, “Two soldiers who had been in guard towers were blown out of their positions but only suffered concussion, the commander said.”
The full extent of the injuries suffered that night was first reported by Defense One on Jan. 16, including details that the injuries were severe enough that 11 service members were medically evacuated to U.S. military hospitals in Kuwait and Germany. According to the Post, “At least two dozen soldiers were treated for concussions at the base, a U.S. official said.”
The injuries were confirmed in a statement from Central Command on Jan. 17.
“While no U.S. service members were killed in the Jan. 8 Iranian attack on Al Asad Air base, several were treated for concussion symptoms from the blast and are still being assessed,” according to the statement from Capt. Bill Urban, spokesman for U.S. Central Command. “As a standard procedure, all personnel in the vicinity of a blast are screened for traumatic brain injury, and if deemed appropriate are transported to a higher level of care. In the days following the attack, out of an abundance of caution, some service members were transported from Al Asad Air Base, Iraq to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, others were sent to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, for follow-on screening.
When deemed fit for duty, the service members are expected to return to Iraq following screening. … At this time, eight individuals have been transported to Landstuhl, and three have been transported to Camp Arifjan.”
That announcement differs from earlier Defense Department reports and repeated statements from the president that the missile attack, launched by Iran in retaliation for the U.S. killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, resulted in no injuries to U.S. or coalition forces housed at the Iraqi bases.
In his first official statement a day after the attack, Trump said on Jan. 8, “I’m pleased to inform you: The American people should be extremely grateful and happy no Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime.
We suffered no casualties, all of our soldiers are safe, and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases.”
The following day, on Jan. 9, Trump repeated that message two more times.
In remarks to the press, Trump said, “Iran went in, and they hit us with missiles. Shouldn’t have done that, but they hit us. Fortunately for them, nobody was hurt, nobody was killed. Nothing happened. They landed — and very little damage even, to the base.” And in an interview with WTVG 13abc News, Trump said, “We were very happy when we learned, not only weren’t any — nobody was killed, but nobody was even hurt, and they landed in areas that were very good, as far as I was concerned. So you had 16 [missiles], I think four of them didn’t reach the location and the other — the other 12 were — they didn’t hit, perhaps they didn’t want to hit, or something happened, but there was nobody hurt, nobody injured, and I think I was very happily surprised.”
During a rally in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Jan. 14, Trump said he was told no one was hurt or killed.
“And we saw those missiles launch and they were big and they were fast and they were accurate,” Trump said. “Four of them went bad, they fell way short, but 12 of them hit, and I said, ‘Man they are quick.’ They knew immediately what they were and they saw those missiles hit. I said ‘How bad is it?’ It hit a base and an hour later or so, we get a callback. I said, ‘How many killed?’ ‘Nobody, sir.’ I said, ‘How many hurt?’ They said, ‘Nobody, sir.’”
Those comments echo ones coming from the Defense Department.
In a press briefing on Jan. 8, the day after the attack, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said, “The current BDA [Battle Damage Assessment] is, if you will, again, we can get you details, things like tentage, taxiways, the parking lot, a damaged helicopter, things like that; nothing that I would describe as major, at least as I note at this point in time. So that’s the state of — of the attack at this point as we know it. Most importantly, no casualties, no friendly causalities, whether they are U.S., coalition, contractor, et cetera.”
Casualties include those who are killed or injured.
But Trump and Esper made those statements before they knew about the injuries, the Pentagon now says.
“The symptoms of suspected TBI [traumatic brain injury] often do not fully materialize themselves until days after an injury and thus often require continued monitoring and follow on care,” Farah said.
Pentagon officials on Jan. 17 said Esper was only notified on Jan. 16 that some service members suffered traumatic brain injuries. According to Pentagon officials, Esper then directed the department to inform White House staff about the evacuations and to release the information publicly.
According to ABC News, “[O]fficials said the president was likely not aware of the service members with TBI symptoms. Injuries reported up the chain of command are those deemed life-threatening or if an individual loses a limb or eyesight. Given those reporting requirements, TBI would not meet the threshold for the Pentagon to be notified of the injuries, and that’s why the department was only told on Thursday, officials said.”
Regardless of what the president knew and when, we can say that the initial assessment that there were no injuries now appears to have been inaccurate.
Update, Jan. 24: Asked about the discrepancy between his comments that there were no injuries in the attack and Pentagon reports that 11 U.S. service members were airlifted due to concussion symptoms, Trump told reporters on Jan. 22, “No, 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. Not very serious.” Trump said he was told about the injuries “numerous days” after the bombing and added that he did not “consider them very serious injuries, relative to other injuries that I’ve seen.”
On Jan. 24, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters that 34 U.S. service members were diagnosed with “concussions and TBI [traumatic brain injury]” after Iran’s ballistic missile attack in Iraq, the Washington Post reported.
According to Hoffman, eight service members who were airlifted to medical facilities in Germany have since returned to the United States for further medical treatment, and nine others remain in Germany. The other 17 were diagnosed with concussions and have returned to duty, he said.
US President Donald Trump To Remain In Hospital For A ‘Period Of Time’ – White House Official Says
US. President Donald Trump will remain in hospital for a “period of time,” a key White House official said on Sunday.
The official ruled out the need to move towards a transfer of power within the federal government.
Trump improving on COVID-19, may be discharged Monday Trump treated with antiviral drug, ‘resting comfortably’ in hospital – Doctor National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien told broadcaster CBS that day seven and eight after the onset of symptoms are the “critical days” for any patient.
Trump was diagnosed on Thursday with the new coronavirus and was moved, the next day, to the Walter Reed medical centre, a military facility outside Washington.
He apparently had some breathing difficulties initially, but his doctors say his condition has improved and that the medical team “remains cautiously optimistic’’.
His oxygen levels were back within a normal range on Saturday.
The president received an antibody cocktail and is on a treatment course of Remdesivir.
Trump issued a four-minute video on Saturday from the hospital.
Wearing a blue suit jacket and no tie, the president insisted he was “starting to feel good’’ and would soon be back to work at the White House.
The illness has thrown Trump’s re-election campaign into a tailspin, with just 30 days to go into the November vote.
The team has been trying to put forward a sense of normalcy but campaign manager, Bill Stepien, is among a number of people in Trump’s inner circle to have contracted the coronavirus in the past week.
Jason Miller, a campaign adviser, was pressed on ABC’s This Week about the president often refusing to wear a mask and holding large rallies, insisting that Trump has taken the virus “very seriously”.
Nigeria Overtakes India As World Capital For Under-Five Deaths
Nigeria has overtaken India as the world capital for under-five deaths, according to the 2020 mortality estimates released by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The development comes two years earlier than the World Bank projected.
The global bank had said in 2018 that Nigeria would take over from India as the world capital for deaths of children under the age of five by 2021.
According to World Bank figures, India recorded an estimated 989,000 under-five deaths in 2017, while Nigeria recorded 714,000 deaths in the same year.
UNICEF, in the report titled: ‘Levels and Trends in Child Mortality’, said Nigeria recorded an estimated average of 858,000 under-five deaths in 2019 as against India, which ranked second with 824,000 deaths out of 5.2 million under-five deaths globally.
The statistics, which covered a period of three decades–1990 to 2019– showed that 49 per cent of all under-five deaths in 2019 occurred in just five countries: Nigeria, India, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia.
“Nigeria and India alone account for almost a third,” it said.
The report said under-five mortality rates declined by almost 60 per cent since 1990.
However, the UN expressed concerns that “while the extent and severity of the mortality impact of COVID-19 on children and youth is still unknown, the potential of a mortality crisis in 2020 threatens years of remarkable improvement in child and adolescent survival from 1990 to 2019, the period covered in this report.
“The global under-five mortality rate declined by almost 60 per cent from 93 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 38 deaths in 2019. Meanwhile, mortality among adolescents aged 10–19 fell from 13 deaths per 1,000 adolescents aged 10 in 1990 to 8 deaths in 2019—a 39 per cent decrease.
“Even with that progress, some 5.2 million children died before reaching their fifth birthday in 2019 alone. Tragically, many of those children died of preventable or treatable conditions.”
According to the data in the report, Nigeria recorded 209,000 neonatal deaths in 1990– a 61,000 increase compared to 270,000 deaths in 2019.
The figures for number of deaths among children aged five to 14 also increased from 104,000 in 1990 to 119,000 in 2019.
Nigeria’s population has doubled since 1990, which means the percentage of neonatal deaths in the country has reduced, but the absolute numbers are higher.
The report said while child deaths are uneven across regions, the situation is worse in sub-Saharan Africa and Central and Southern Asia.
“In 2019, sub-Saharan Africa carried more than half of that burden with 2.8 million under-five deaths (53 per cent), followed by Central and Southern Asia with 1.5 million (28 per cent).
“The regions of Australia and New Zealand, Eastern and South-Eastern Asia, Northern Africa and Western Asia, Europe and Northern America, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Oceania (excluding Australia and New Zealand) account for the remaining 19 per cent of under-five deaths.
“Sub-Saharan Africa also bears the brunt of deaths among children and young people older than age 5, accounting for 44 per cent of deaths age 5–24,” it stated.
The report added that while the COVID-19 pandemic has limited direct impact on child mortality, countries worldwide are now experiencing disruptions in child and maternal health services due to resource constraints and a general uneasiness with using health services due to a fear of contracting COVID-19.
“While current evidence indicates the direct impact of COVID-19 on child and youth mortality is limited, indirect effects stemming from strained and under-resourced health systems; limitations on care-seeking and preventative measures like vaccination and nutrition supplements; the socio-economic strain on parents and households resulting from job loss or economic downturns; and stress to children and parents associated with abrupt societal shifts may be substantial and widespread.
“Moreover, many of these indirect effects may not be apparent for some time after the pandemic recedes and may reverberate for an extended period following the pandemic,” it
UNICEF Director, Henrietta Fore, said: “The global community has come too far towards eliminating preventable child deaths to allow the COVID-19 pandemic to stop us in our tracks.
“If the child survival targets are to be met on time, resources and policy must be geared toward not only sustaining current rates of decline but also accelerating progress, which would save millions of lives. If the trends from 2010 to 2019 continue, 53 countries will not meet the SDG target on under-five mortality on time—if all countries were to meet that target, 11 million under-five deaths would be averted from 2020 to 2030.
“Achieving child survival goals and heading off a reversal of progress in child survival in 2020 will require universal access to effective, high-quality and affordable care and the continued, safe provision of life-saving interventions for women, children, and young people.
“If all countries reach the SDG child survival targets by 2030, 11 million lives under age five will be saved—more than half of them in sub-Saharan Africa.” (ThisDay)
Ghana Finally Replies Nigeria, Writes On Demolitions, Seizures, Says Allegations Did Not Reflect The True State Of Affairs.
The Ghanaian minister of information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has sent a six-page response to Nigeria, over accusations of hostilities to Nigeria and harassment of Nigerians.
On Friday, 28th August, the Nigerian Government, reeled out a litany of hostilities and harassments committed by Ghana against Nigerian interests and Nigerians and declared it will no longer tolerate future unfriendly acts.
In a statement by Information minister, Lai Mohammed, the Nigerian government announced it is urgently considering ”a number of options at ameliorating the situation”.
Ghana has now responded to all issues raised by Nigeria, acknowledging they have the potential to sour relations between the two countries.
Nkrumah outrightly denied most of the allegations, saying they did not reflect the true state of affairs.
And responding to Nigeria’s subtle threat to take counteractions, Nkrumah said: Any protests, decisions, or actions based on Lai’s statement “will thus be unjustified”.
He outrightly defended Ghana using signed agreements and laws.
Read Ghana’s response below:
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