Lloyd Austin, whose many secret hospitalizations have sparked controversy, was re-admitted to hospital on Sunday.Urgent bladder problem», before handing over his duties to his assistant.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, whose many secret hospitalizations have sparked controversy, was hospitalized again on Sunday. “urgent bladder problem”Before handing over his duties to his deputy, the Pentagon announced.
As of Sunday, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks is serving as Pentagon chief, department spokesman Pat Ryder said in a statement.
A few hours earlier, however, the Pentagon had indicated that Mr. Austin “Delivered to the hospital with the necessary classified and unclassified communication systems” to perform its functions.
Lloyd Austin, who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and had recently undergone surgery, was readmitted to Walter Reed Military Hospital in suburban Washington. “urgent bladder problem”announced Pat Ryder, adding that the minister was still receiving treatment and that the White House and Congress had been informed.
During a press conference on February 1, the defense secretary, 70, apologized for keeping his cancer a secret, a matter that sent the country into a frenzy.
Because in the middle of an election year and while the United States, the world’s leading military power, is closely following two major conflicts in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip, the septuagenarian was operated on and hospitalized twice without President Joe Biden in December and January. Don’t know anything about it.
“It was a mistake”The minister admitted during this press briefing that he still presented himself with a tough move. “I should have informed the president of my cancer diagnosis. I should have told my team and the American people as well and I take full responsibility for that. I apologize to my colleagues and the American people., he added. However, the minister wanted to say “Very clearly there is no power vacuum and no threat to the command and control of the ministry”.
He indicated that he had “straight” Mr. Biden apologized and later responded “with grace”.
Calls for surprise and resignation
The incident also shocked the Democratic camp and fueled calls from Republicans for Lloyd Austin’s resignation. This time, his ministry immediately communicated his new hospitalization: the media was informed about two hours after his departure for the hospital.
Controversy over his health problems also arose when American forces in Iraq and Syria According to Washington, Iran-backed fighters are regularly targeted by attacks.
The top US defense official is also a key figure in the Biden administration’s efforts to maintain support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, as congressional Republicans refuse to authorize new funding for military aid to Kiev.
Some Republican lawmakers called for his dismissal, but Mr. Biden, while condemning the Pentagon chief’s lack of prudence, declared that he retained his faith in him.
Mr. Austin gained a reputation as a largely apolitical officer, very comfortable with American troops. Despite his imposing stature, he is very discreet and avoids the limelight, which he believes played a role in his decision to keep his cancer diagnosis a secret.