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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin hospitalized, transfers powers to deputy

Feb 12

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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was taken to the critical care unit at a military hospital in Washington on Sunday night, Feb. 11, after being hospitalized for symptoms related to a bladder issue. The Pentagon issued a series of statements describing Austin’s condition following widespread scrutiny over the secrecy surrounding a hospital stay in January due to complications from prostate cancer surgery.

“Earlier today, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III was transported by his security detail to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to be seen for symptoms suggesting an emergent bladder issue,” a statement from the Defense Department on Sunday, Feb. 11, read. “Tonight, after a series of tests and evaluations, the Secretary was admitted into the critical care unit at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for supportive care and close monitoring.”

Austin has transferred his duties to Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks. The Pentagon said it is not clear how long Austin will remain hospitalized this time, adding his cancer prognosis remains excellent.

Austin, 70, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in December, his lack of communication and transparency about his medical condition and treatment raised concerns about whether Austin was fit to perform his duties. Concerns which President Biden squashed in January, while acknowledging Austin’s lack of transparency was a lapse in judgement.

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DEFENSE SECRETARY LLOYD AUSTIN WAS TAKEN TO THE CRITICAL CARE UNIT AT A MILITARY HOSPITAL IN WASHINGTON AFTER BEING HOSPITALIZED FOR SYMPTOMS RELATED TO A BLADDER ISSUE.

THE PENTAGON ISSUING A SERIES OF STATEMENTS DESCRIBING AUSTIN’S CONDITION FOLLOWING WIDESPREAD SCRUTINY OVER THE SECRECY SURROUNDING A HOSPITAL STAY LAST MONTH DUE TO COMPLICATIONS FROM PROSTATE CANCER SURGERY.

AUSTIN HAS TRANSFERRED HIS DUTIES TO DEPUTY DEFENSE SECRETARY KATHLEEN HICKS.

THE PENTAGON SAYING IT IS NOT CLEAR HOW LONG AUSTIN WILL REMAIN HOSPITALIZED THIS TIME – ADDING HIS CANCER PROGNOSIS REMAINS EXCELLENT.