The Secretary of Defense of the United States, Lloyd Austin, was hospitalized again this Sunday, entering the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), barely a month and a half after admission due to complications from surgerywhich generated controversy for not having notified his illness or his hospitalization even to the president, Joe Biden.
On this occasion, Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder explained in a statement that Austin was transferred around 2:20 p.m. (local time) “to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (Maryland) to be examined for symptoms that suggest an emerging bladder problem“.
Ryder had notified the Undersecretary of Defense, Kathleen Hicks, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Charles Brown, of the entry, as well as the White House and Congress, although he was initially in charge of his duties, shortly after he transferred his duties to his ‘number two’.
The medical authorities of the military hospital have explained that they have carried out a series of tests and evaluations for which they have decided admit him to the ICU to receive “supportive care and close monitoring”. “At this time it is unclear how long he will remain hospitalized,” they said.
“The current bladder problem is not expected to alter his expected full recovery. The prognosis for cancer remains excellent. Updates on the secretary’s status will be provided as soon as possible,” they said in a statement shared by the Department of Defense.
The head of the Pentagon has an appointment on February 29 before the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee to explain his decision not to report his hospitalization during the month of January. Republicans have taken advantage of the situation to demand the dismissal of Austin, whom Biden, although he considered that he was wrong for not informing, has expressed his support.
Austin was hospitalized since January 1 after complicating a surgery he underwent, a fact that would not have greater relevance if it were not for the fact that neither the White House, nor the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, nor Austin’s own replacement were aware. both of the income. The 70-year-old Secretary of Defense is immediately behind Biden in the chain of command of the US military.
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