Lloyd Austin Taken to Hospital for Bladder Issue

Lloyd Austin Taken to Hospital for Bladder Issue

The Pentagon announced Sunday that Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III was taken to a military hospital in the afternoon to be treated for “symptoms suggestive of an emerging bladder problem.”

Mr. Austin was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, at 2:20 p.m., a Pentagon spokesman, Maj. Gen. Patrick S. Ryder, said in a statement. He added that the deputy secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had been notified, as well as the White House and members of Congress.

In a second statement Sunday evening, Gen. Ryder said that Mr. Austin, 70, “transferred the functions and responsibilities” of his office to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen H. Hicks at about 4:55 p.m

The announcements appeared aimed at providing transparency about Mr. Austin’s health and emphasizing the fact that several top U.S. government officials had been briefed.

Mr. Austin came under fire last month when he went to the hospital for several days to receive treatment for complications related to recent prostate cancer surgery. He had initially kept his hospital visit secret from senior administration officials, including President Biden, the White House national security adviser, the secretary of state and senior officials at the Pentagon, including those who reported directly to him in the office.

Mr. Austin also had not informed the president that he had undergone the original surgery in December.

Lawmakers called on the Pentagon to provide answers to why so many officials are in the dark. Mr Biden said on January 12 that he still had confidence in Mr Austin. But when the president was asked whether it was a misjudgment on Mr. Austin’s part not to inform him that he had been incapacitated, Mr. Biden replied “yes.”

Mr. Austin, a retired four-star Army general and former commander of the United States Central Command, had served in the military for more than 40 years when he took the top Pentagon post in 2021. Throughout his career, he has tried to avoid attention and has tried to keep many parts of his life out of the public spotlight.

Gen. Ryder said the Pentagon would provide an update on Mr. Austin’s current condition as soon as possible.

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2024-02-12 01:36:56