Pentagon Chief Back in Hospital
US Defense Secretary Austin has been readmitted to the hospital. His symptoms suggest a bladder problem, the Pentagon announced. Deputy Hicks has assumed official duties.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been taken back to the hospital, according to the Pentagon. Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder stated that at 2:20 PM (local time), his security detail brought him to a military clinic near Washington with symptoms of an acute bladder problem. The White House and Congress have already been informed.
Initially, it was stated that the 70-year-old had the necessary means of communication to fulfill his duties from the hospital. An update on his condition will be provided as soon as possible. In the evening, Ryder announced that Austin was still in the hospital and had handed over official duties to his deputy, Kathleen Hicks, at around 4:55 PM (local time).
Keeping Cancer Diagnosis a Secret
Austin had only returned to work at the Pentagon at the end of January after a prolonged period of illness. At the beginning of the year, he came under heavy criticism for keeping his prostate cancer diagnosis and hospitalization due to complications from a procedure a secret.
Even US President Joe Biden was unaware for several days that his minister was in the hospital. Austin was then discharged from the clinic on January 15th and initially did not work from the Pentagon.
The White House and the Pentagon launched internal investigations into the case. While Biden acknowledged Austin’s lack of communication about his health issues, he also expressed his trust in him.