Lloyd Austin Returns to Hospital

(UnitedHeadlines.com) – On Feb. 11, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was transported to the hospital by his security detail after suffering from “symptoms suggesting an emergent bladder issue.”

He was transferred that night to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s critical care unit for close monitoring and supportive care, according to a statement from the Department of Defense. His doctors stated that the issue with his bladder “is not expected to change his anticipated full recovery.”

It remains unclear how long he will stay in the hospital, and therefore, his powers were transferred temporarily to Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks. Austin’s planned trip to Brussels, where he was scheduled to attend the Ukraine Defense Contact Group’s monthly meeting and a meeting of NATO defense ministers, was canceled. The Ukraine Defense Contact Group will now meet virtually Feb. 14.

The latest hospital admission comes a month after a separate hospital admission raised concerns over Austin’s transparency. In January, Austin was hospitalized for two weeks after suffering complications from his December prostate cancer surgery. Some of his authority was transferred temporarily to Hicks during his stay.

The hospitalization caused concern after it was revealed that many Pentagon officials, President Joe Biden, members of Congress, other senior administration officials and the American public, had not been notified of his hospitalization or his cancer surgery. Though he had been admitted to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Jan. 1, the Pentagon did not inform the White House until Jan. 4 and did not inform Congress, the press or the public until Jan. 5.

During a Feb. 1 press conference, Austin apologized for the secrecy that surrounded his hospitalization and cancer treatment. He stated that he “did not handle this right,” and he offered his apologies to his “teammates and the American people.”

Austin is scheduled to testify before the House Armed Services Committee on Feb. 29 about his January hospitalization and the fallout from it.

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