United States Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, hospitalized again International

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who is suffering from prostate cancer, was re-hospitalized this Sunday due to discomfort related to his illness, according to the Pentagon. In January, the retired general sparked a strong controversy when it was announced that he had been hospitalized but did not inform the White House or the rest of the government until four days after his admission to the intensive care unit.

On this occasion, he will be treated for “symptoms that point to an early bladder problem,” Pentagon spokesman General Pat Ryder said in a statement. The spokesperson also clarified that this time the situation has been properly communicated to the White House and the US Congress.

It was initially suggested that Austin would continue to handle his duties from the hospital. The Secretary “moves with the necessary communication systems, classified and unclassified, to perform his functions.” But hours later another statement from the Pentagon signaled that the Defense Department’s “number two,” Kathleen Hicks, had taken over her boss’s duties.

On December 22, Austin underwent surgery to treat his cancer and was discharged almost immediately. But on January 1 he was readmitted to Walter Reed Military Hospital outside Washington due to complications from the disease. The White House and Hicks, who was on vacation, also did not receive notification of hospitalization until the 4th. The Defense Secretary did not announce the reason for his entry until the 9th. He was discharged on January 15.

The incident prompted the Pentagon to open a thirty-day investigation into how the communications failure was possible and to update its protocols for reporting such situations. As head of the US military, the Secretary of Defense must always be available should a national security emergency arise.

Austin has been subpoenaed to appear before the Armed Forces Committee of the House of Representatives on February 29 to testify about what happened. After his hospitalization in January, many congressmen and Donald Trump, a close Republican candidate in the November presidential election, called for the resignation of Black, the former commander of US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and secretary of defense.

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“I want to make it very clear: We didn’t manage this well. “I didn’t manage it well,” the soldier admitted on February 1, his first press conference after being discharged. “I had to tell the president about my cancer diagnosis. I should have told my team and the American public, and I take full responsibility. “I apologize to my team and the American public.”

This coming week, Austin was scheduled to travel to Europe for a meeting of the Contact Group for the Defense of Ukraine. It is unknown at this time whether he will continue with his plans or cancel his trip. In that case, it is not known whether another person from his team at the Pentagon will replace him.

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