Lloyd Austin Returns To Hospital, Deputy Takes on His Responsibilities

(NewsReady.com) – In January, a scandal erupted after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spent days in the hospital without properly notifying the chain of command. The incident led to a change in protocols. Now, Austin is in the hospital again, but this time, he did it the right way.

Major General Patrick Ryder, the press secretary for the Pentagon, issued a press release on February 11, notifying the public of Austin’s hospitalization. According to Ryder, the secretary was transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center because of an “emergent bladder issue.”

Austin transferred his duties and functions to Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks. The White House, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Congress were all notified about his hospitalization.

Austin’s doctors, Dr. Gregory Chesnut and Dr. John Maddox, released a statement following his February 11 hospitalization and made it clear the health problems won’t impact his current cancer prognosis. They said the secretary was in the critical care unit to receive treatment for the latest issue. The doctors said he’s likely to make a “full recovery” and his prognosis is still “excellent.”

On February 12, the Department of Defense issued another statement saying the secretary underwent “nonsurgical procedures under general anesthesia” to fix the bladder problem.

The defense secretary’s doctors diagnosed him with prostate cancer in December. He underwent surgery around that time, without notifying President Joe Biden or anyone else in command. Then, on January 1, he was rushed to Walter Reed after experiencing pain and placed in the critical care unit. It took days to notify all of the appropriate people. Hicks was on vacation at the time and didn’t even know her boss had transferred some of his duties to her.

After outrage over the incident, the secretary apologized. The White House also made a policy change requiring Cabinet and other high-ranking officials to notify the appropriate officials beforehand. The Pentagon followed those instructions this time.

Copyright 2024, NewsReady.com