US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was taken to a hospital in Washington DC on Sunday for treatment of “symptoms suggesting an urgent bladder problem”, a Pentagon spokesman said.
Lloyd Austin, 70, remained on duty during his hospitalization, Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said.
Austin was taken to hospital by his security team around 2:20 p.m. local time, Major General Pat Ryder said in a statement. For now, Austin has not been hospitalized, reports CNN, according to News.ro.
The White House and Congress were notified of the visit to the hospital, as were the Deputy Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“We will provide an update on Secretary Austin’s condition as soon as possible,” Ryder promised.
Austin, criticized a month ago
For now, Austin is keeping his duties, Ryder said, but Assistant Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks is prepared to take over if necessary. Austin went to the hospital with unclassified and classified communications systems, which are necessary for his duties.
Austin was criticized last month for not disclosing a cancer diagnosis and subsequent hospitalizations in December and January, even to President Joe Biden. The Pentagon chief apologized for it during a televised press briefing. He is scheduled to testify before Congress on February 29 regarding this situation. The incident triggered a political scandal. Some prominent Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, have called for Austin to be fired.
Austin is a retired four-star general who commanded forces in Iraq and is America’s first black secretary of defense.
Biden, a Democrat, said he had confidence in Austin, despite what the president agreed was “an error of judgment.”
Tags: hospital, Pentagon, Austin,
Publication date: 12-02-2024 07:12
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