US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been transferred to the intensive care unit of a military hospital outside Washington after being hospitalized for an urgent bladder problem, the Pentagon said on Monday. TASR reports according to the AFP agency.
Austin was transferred after a series of tests and examinations. He will continue to be cared for and closely observed in the intensive care unit at Walter Reed Military Hospital near Washington, the hospital said in a statement.
The security service of the Ministry of Defense took the 70-year-old Austin to the hospital on Sunday at 14:20 local time (20:20 CET). He subsequently handed over his powers to Deputy Kathleen Hicks shortly before 5:00 p.m. According to the Pentagon, the White House, Congress and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were informed about this move.
According to the DPA agency, it was not immediately clear how long Austin will be hospitalized. In general, however, his current health problems are not expected to change the prognosis for a full recovery from cancer.
Austin was diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer in December. He initially returned home after minor surgery on December 22, but was admitted to Walter Reed Military Hospital on January 1 due to complications.