The Mysterious Illness by a US Diplomat in China Could Jeopardize Beijing’s Relationship with Washington

In April this year, Mark Lenzi, together with his family began to notice some strange noises. Lenzi would later say that he was hearing noises that were similar to marbles bouncing and hitting hard ground. He added that the sound was anonymous to marbles rolling on an inclined surface with a sound that was static. In the beginning, Lenzi and his wife thought that their neighbor was the one responsible for the weird sounds. The neighbor was also a Foreign Service officer in the American consulate of Guangzhou in China. However, the neighbor refuted the claims and said that he was not guilty of anything to do with the sounds. Months later, the couple started to experience headaches. The headaches involved a severe pain at the back of the head that lasted for days at a time.

Lenzi, his wife and their kid who is three years old, had the same symptoms. Soon afterwards, the family started to experience chronic insomnia as well. Lenzi said that he requested for assistance from his superiors. However, Lenzi’s superiors dismissed the claims as mere hallucinations. Doctors from the US consulate prescribed Ambien and painkillers. These prescription drugs did not do much to address the underlying cause of the nightmare for the young American family. Lenzi was shocked last month. He learned that his neighbor had been flown back to the US for medical assessment and treatment. It was later determined that Lenzi’s neighbor was suffering from the mild traumatic injury of the brain.

The US State Department issued its very first statement about the case on May 23rd. The statement said that an employee of the US government working in China had reported a vague and subtle sensation of sound and pressure. The statement also termed the symptoms as abnormal. The statement also urged anyone who had strange symptoms after working in China to consult a healthcare professional. The statement also argued that the United States government was not aware of any other cases of Foreign Service employees suffering from the same symptoms.

However, Lenzi strongly disputed the allegations. He insisted that he had given information to the headquarters of the State Department in Washington and the US embassy in Beijing regarding the predicament of his family. One of Lenzi’s long-time friend, Michael Getto, said that Mark Lenzi is a competent guy. Getto is a political consultant. He added that if Mark said something was not going right, then it wasn’t.

Haley Thompson

About Haley Thompson

Haley is a journalist with over 10 years of experience in the field. She has held many editorial roles at a number of high-profile publishers – both offline as well as online.

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