“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,” Trump replied during the news conference.
The reporter pressed, “So you don’t consider potential traumatic brain injury serious?”
“They told me about it numerous days later, you’d have to ask Department of Defense,” Trump replied.
The commander in chief continued, “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,” Trump said.
“No, I do not consider that to be bad injuries, no,” he added.
According to the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, a majority of TBI injuries are considered mild, and are also known as concussions, but they can leave long-term effects on cognitive functions.
A mild TBI is more difficult to identify than severe TBI injuries because there might not be a visible head injury and some symptoms are similar to those of PTSD, according to the DVBIC. Individuals who sustain multiple concussions are at greater risk for further or permanent neurologic damage.
The Defense Department and Veterans Affairs announced last year it would fund up to $50 million in new research on concussions.
“VA and DOD share an urgent, ongoing commitment to better understand the long-term impact of TBI,” Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie said at the time.
“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,” Trump said an address to the nation after the attack.
CENTCOM said that service members who had been in the impact zone were being monitored for potential injuries and that the injuries became apparent in the days after the attack. Concussions are not always apparent immediately after they’ve been suffered.
CNN’s Barbara Starr, Ryan Browne and Nikki Carvajal contributed to this report.