Updated February 12th, 2024 at 18:15 IST
Lloyd Austin Rushed to Hospital Over 'Emergent Bladder Issue', Transfers Duties to Deputy
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was rushed to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday following symptoms of an “emergent bladder issue”.
- World News
- 3 min read
Washington DC – US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was rushed to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday afternoon following symptoms of an “emergent bladder issue”. Before hospitalisation Austin transferred his duties to his deputy, CBS News reported. As per the reports, the American Defence Secretary was admitted into the critical care unit and the Pentagon said that it is not clear how long Austin will remain hospitalised. Austin's office also noted that the White House, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Congress have been notified on the matter.
"Today, at approximately 2:20 pm, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III was transported by his security detail to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to be seen for symptoms suggesting an emergent bladder issue," Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a statement on Sunday afternoon. Reed mentioned that Austin was admitted to a critical care unit of the hospital “after a series of tests and evaluations”. “At this time, it is not clear how long Secretary Austin will remain hospitalized. The current bladder issue is not expected to change his anticipated full recovery. His cancer prognosis remains excellent. Updates on the Secretary's condition will be provided as soon as possible,” he added.
Acknowledging the past mistakes
The notification of Austin's hospitalisation and the transfer of power happened within three hours of the actual hospitalisation. The rapid notification came after both Austin and his team acknowledged that they failed to promptly inform the administration and the public about previous hospitalisation. According to CNN, Austin travelled to the hospital with unclassified and classified communications systems that are required for his duties. The American defence secretary was diagnosed with prostate cancer in early December and underwent a procedure to treat it on December 22. However, he returned back to the hospital on New Year’s Day after suffering from complications as a result of the procedure.
Austin's hospitalisation in January became a matter of debate after it was found that his team did not inform Biden and other senior officials for days. Some of the opposition leaders even went on to demand Austin's resignation for keeping the matter a secret. In his first public address after he was released, the American defence secretary admitted that he did not handle the situation properly. “We did not handle this right, and I did not handle this right. I should have told the president about my cancer diagnosis. I should have also told my team and the American public. And I take full responsibility. I apologize to my teammates and to the American people,” Austin said. Last week, the Office of the Secretary of Defense completed a 30-day review of the notification procedures around a transfer of responsibilities, CNN reported. In the Sunday statement, Ryder mentioned that his team will continue to remain transparent on the matter. “We remain committed to being as transparent as possible about the review, and we’ll have more information once the secretary’s review is complete,” Ryder said.
Published February 12th, 2024 at 18:15 IST