House Committee Seeks Testimony From Austin on Hospitalization

House Committee Seeks Testimony From Austin on Hospitalization

The House Armed Services Committee on Thursday requested Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III to testify subsequent month about why he and his aides saved secret from the White House for a number of days that he was hospitalized after having issues from prostate most cancers surgical procedure.

The committee chairman, Representative Mike D. Rogers, Republican of Alabama, stated that “Congress should perceive what occurred and who made selections to forestall the disclosure of the whereabouts of a cupboard secretary.”

Mr. Rogers stated that he scheduled a listening to for Feb. 14 after he accused Mr. Austin of evading essential questions in regards to the secretary’s hospitalization throughout a current telephone name between the 2 males.

“Specifically, I’m alarmed you refused to reply whether or not you instructed your workers to not inform the president of the United States or anybody else of your hospitalization,” Mr. Rogers stated in a letter to Mr. Austin that the committee made public on Thursday night time. “Unfortunately, this leads me to consider that info is being withheld from Congress.”

Mr. Austin was launched on Monday from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and has been working at residence whereas he recuperates. Top Pentagon aides have been wanting to attempt to put the episode behind them, looking for to painting a back-to-work picture, albeit from residence, for his or her boss by issuing statements that he spoke by telephone this week together with his counterparts from Ukraine and Israel.

But there’s little likelihood the difficulty will fade away quickly. Lawmakers and senior administration officers say that Mr. Austin’s dealing with of the matter has broken his credibility with President Biden and Congress, and that it raises questions in regards to the general competence of his division in coping with the self-made disaster. All of that’s now the topic of a 30-day inner division evaluation, in addition to an investigation by the Defense Department inspector general.

Mr. Austin, a 70-year-old retired Army common, was in extreme ache and rushed by ambulance to Walter Reed on Jan. 1. He was put in intensive care after issues from a prostate removing surgical procedure he underwent on Dec. 22.

But a number of high Pentagon officers didn’t study of the secretary’s hospitalization till the subsequent day, Jan. 2. The White House was not notified till Jan. 4, a significant breach of protocol on the highest nationwide safety ranges. Further complicating issues, neither Pentagon nor White House officers realized till Jan. 9 that Mr. Austin had been recognized with most cancers in early December.



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