Symptoms and Admission
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was readmitted to the hospital on Sunday afternoon. Due to symptoms suggestive of an emergent bladder issue. Walter Reed National Military Medical Center doctors admitted him to critical care. Unit late Sunday night following a thorough series of tests and evaluations.
Deputy Assumes Duties
Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary. Confirmed that Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks has taken over the functions and duties of the office of the Secretary of Defense during Austin’s hospitalization. Notification has been sent to the White House, Congress, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Health Complications and Public Acknowledgment
Austin’s recent health setback comes after undergoing a minimally invasive surgical procedure for prostate cancer on Dec. 22. Previous complications included a urinary tract infection and serious intestinal issues. The Defense Secretary publicly acknowledged the lapse in promptly informing President Joe Biden about his health matters.
Confidence Amidst Ongoing Reviews
While updates on Austin’s condition are awaited, his overall recovery from cancer is not expected to be impacted by the current bladder issue. President Biden has expressed confidence in Austin but acknowledged the necessity for improved communication in handling health disclosures. Internal reviews and a Defense Department inspector general investigation are ongoing to address the handling of Austin’s health-related notifications.