Earlier this month, Iran launched retaliatory air strikes against Iraqi military bases where U.S. soldiers were stationed after President Donald Trump made the choice to kill top Iranian military official Qasem Soleimani.
After initial alarm, Americans breathed a sigh of relief upon learning that there were no reported casualties resulting from the attack.
In a televised address the following day, Trump said:
"I am 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."
Later reports, however, indicated the opposite: 11 troops were rushed to Iraqi medical centers suffering from traumatic brain injuries resulting from the attacks.
Trump was asked about the discrepancy by CBS News reporter Weijia Jiang in a recent press conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Trump was not terribly concerned about the traumatic brain injuries suffered by 11 US troops following Iran’s missi… https://t.co/nRgLwJ8lFg— Stephanie Kennedy (@Stephanie Kennedy) 1579747253.0
Trump, who repeatedly dodged the draft during the Vietnam War, dismissed the injuries:
"No, I heard that they had headaches, and a couple of other things, but I would say, and I can report, it's not very serious."
When pressed by Jang on whether or not he considered traumatic brain injuries serious, he replied:
"They told me about it numerous days later, you'd have to ask Department of Defense. I don't consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries that I've seen. I've seen what Iran has done with their roadside bombs to our troops. I've seen people with no legs and with no arms. I've seen people that were horribly, horribly injured in that area, that war. No, I do not consider that to be bad injuries, no."
People didn't take kindly to the President's dismissal.
Millions of Americans carry invisible wounds from their service to our country. Traumatic brain injuries are still… https://t.co/vEFZZSZB2Q— Rep. Val Demings (@Rep. Val Demings) 1579704811.0
Combat vets I’ve interviewed who are missing limbs or have other readily apparent physical injuries often bring up… https://t.co/4gQPXLzPYm— Brianna Keilar (@Brianna Keilar) 1579788725.0
Once again proving he believes the military is nothing more than his personal force to be used without repercussion… https://t.co/m6iA8GGhTQ— Rep. Joe Kennedy III (@Rep. Joe Kennedy III) 1579702392.0
An estimated 408,000 U.S. servicemembers have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury since 2000. That's a lot… https://t.co/EfqwYi0swf— Chris Lu (@Chris Lu) 1579716352.0
In 2014, after 10 years of studying effects of combat blast wounds from IEDs, the military appropriately ditched th… https://t.co/dvggGXtcoF— Mark Hertling (@Mark Hertling) 1579706075.0
Horrific. Just horrific. And disqualifying for a commander in chief. https://t.co/SlcrNpL8hU— Christine Pelosi (@Christine Pelosi) 1579705389.0
The lying draft dodging v coward says the injuries suffered by our troops in the Iranian attack were not serious;… https://t.co/QaUsSNAjuh— American Veteran (@American Veteran) 1579748252.0
TBI is the signature wound of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. @ewarren got the Pentagon to establish its first-… https://t.co/WdHzCgAajr— Sasha Baker (@Sasha Baker) 1579717009.0
The Department of Defense has said in the past that traumatic brain injuries are "one of the invisible wounds of war and one of the signature injuries of troops wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq."