The Pentagon introduced on Sunday that Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III had been taken that afternoon to a army hospital to be handled for “signs suggesting an emergent bladder problem.”
Mr. Austin was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., 2:20 p.m., a Pentagon spokesman, Maj. Gen. Patrick S. Ryder, stated in an announcement. He added that the deputy protection secretary and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had been notified, in addition to the White House and members of Congress.
General Ryder stated Mr. Austin, 70, was “retaining the features and duties of his workplace.” If required, he added, the deputy protection secretary, Kathleen H. Hicks, would assume these duties.
The announcement seemed to be geared toward displaying transparency round Mr. Austin’s medical situation and stressing the truth that a number of prime officers throughout the U.S. authorities had been knowledgeable.
Mr. Austin got here beneath widespread criticism final month when he went to the hospital for a number of days for therapy for problems associated to a latest prostate most cancers surgical procedure. He had initially saved his hospital go to a secret from prime administration officers, together with President Biden, the White House nationwide safety adviser, the secretary of state and senior officers within the Pentagon, together with these instantly beneath him within the workplace.
Mr. Austin additionally had not knowledgeable the president that he had undergone the unique surgical procedure in December.
Lawmakers known as for the Pentagon to offer solutions on why so many officers had been saved at midnight. Mr. Biden stated on Jan. 12 that he nonetheless had confidence in Mr. Austin. But when the president was requested whether or not it had been a lapse in judgment for Mr. Austin to not have knowledgeable him that he had been out of fee, Mr. Biden stated “sure.”
Mr. Austin, a retired four-star Army normal and former commander of the United States Central Command, had served within the army for greater than 40 years when he took the highest Pentagon job in 2021. Throughout his profession, he has sought to keep away from consideration and has tried to maintain many elements of his life out of the general public highlight.
General Ryder stated the Pentagon would supply an replace on Mr. Austin’s situation as quickly as doable.