US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin underwent non-surgical procedures under general anesthesia to address a bladder problem, his doctors said on Monday, but is expected to make a full recovery and resume normal duties on Tuesday, Reuters reports .
Lloyd AustinPhoto: Valeria Mongelli / AFP / Profimedia
He canceled the trip he was going to make to Brussels for meetings with counterparts from NATO countries, an American official indicated on Monday.
Lloyd Austin, whose secret hospitalizations have sparked controversy, was re-admitted to hospital on Sunday and delegated his duties to his deputy.
The US official, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer and recently underwent surgery, was taken to a military facility on the outskirts of Washington for “an urgent bladder problem,” a Defense Department spokesman said in a statement. , Pat Ryder.
During a press conference on February 1, the Defense Secretary apologized for keeping his cancer a secret, an issue that has sparked enormous controversy in the country.
Because in the midst of an election year and while the United States, the world’s largest military power, is closely following two major conflicts in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip, Austin was operated on and hospitalized twice in December and January without President Joe Biden to know something about it.
“It was a mistake”, admitted the minister during this press briefing, stating that his recovery “will take some time”.
Austin said he apologized “directly” to President Biden and that the latter responded “understandingly.”
The incident caused consternation even in the Democratic camp and prompted calls from Republicans for the resignation of Lloyd Austin.
This time, his ministry communicated promptly about his new hospitalization: the press was notified about two hours after his departure from Walter Reed hospital.
The controversy over his health problems comes at a time when US forces in Iraq and Syria are regularly targeted by attacks by fighters backed by Iran, according to Washington.