Home US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is stripped of his duties after being hospitalized for ’emergent bladder issues’ after prostate caner surgery last month

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is stripped of his duties after being hospitalized for ’emergent bladder issues’ after prostate caner surgery last month

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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, 70, was stripped of his duties and transferred to Deputy Kathleen Hicks after he was hospitalized for

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, 70, was stripped of his duties and transferred to Deputy Kathleen Hicks after he was hospitalized for “symptoms suggesting an emerging bladder problem.”

Austin was transported to Walter Reed Medical Center after symptoms emerged Sunday afternoon.

After facing intense backlash for not immediately informing President Joe Biden about his surgery to treat prostate cancer last month, Austin was sure not to make the same mistake twice.

The Secretary of the Department of Defense informed his deputy, Kathleen Hicks, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Charles Brown, Jr., the White House and Congress of his hospitalization, according to the statement by the Pentagon press secretary, Maj. General Patrick Ryder.

Later on Sunday, the Department of Defense announced that ‘at approximately 4:55 p.m.’ Austin transferred the functions and duties of the office of Secretary of Defense to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, adding that the White House and Congress they had been notified.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, 70, was stripped of his duties and transferred to Deputy Kathleen Hicks after he was hospitalized for “symptoms suggesting an emerging bladder problem.”

Later on Sunday, the Department of Defense announced that 'at approximately 4:55 p.m.' Austin transferred the functions and duties of the office of Secretary of Defense to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks (pictured), adding that the White House and Congress had been notified.

Later on Sunday, the Department of Defense announced that ‘at approximately 4:55 p.m.’ Austin transferred the functions and duties of the office of Secretary of Defense to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks (pictured), adding that the White House and Congress had been notified.

Hicks has “assumed the duties and functions” of Austin as of 5 p.m., a spokesperson confirmed.

Austin said earlier this month that his failure to immediately notify Biden was due in part to his instinct to keep his health private, as well as being “shocked” by the news of his cancer diagnosis.

During a press conference earlier this month, Austin said he would immediately notify his deputy and the White House Situation Room if he had a medical issue, which appeared to be true with his hospital visit on Sunday.

‘I have apologized directly to President Biden. “I told him I deeply regret not letting him know right away,” Austin said during a news conference at the Pentagon on Feb. 1.

“I should have told the president about my cancer diagnosis, I should have told my team and the American public,” he added. ‘I take full responsibility. “I apologize to my teammates and the American people.”

It was the first time he spoke publicly about his medical problem and comes as he tries to recover from the scandal of keeping it a secret.

The health concerns come at a time when the world is in turmoil, including a war between Ukraine and Russia, between Israel and Hamas and rising tensions between China and Taiwan and the Houthis with Yemen’s Sunnis.

Having an absent or incapacitated Secretary of Defense could further complicate the United States’ role in all of this.

President Joe Biden, first lady Dr. Jill Biden, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (with a walker) during a dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, of the corps three US soldiers killed in a drone strike in Jordan last month.

President Joe Biden, first lady Dr. Jill Biden, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (with a walker) during a dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, of the corps three US soldiers killed in a drone attack in Jordan last month.

Department of Defense Sec. Austin spoke during a Pentagon news conference on Feb. 1 where he apologized for not immediately informing President Joe Biden about his prostate cancer diagnosis and surgery last month.

With Austin’s hospitalization on Sunday, Hicks is “prepared to assume the duties” of secretary if necessary. The Secretary of the Department of Defense, however, retains his powers for the time being, Maj. Gen. Ryder noted.

Far-right political activist Laura Loomer said Austin should step down after back-to-back health problems.

“It’s time for me to resign,” he posted on X on Sunday. “You can’t be sick and also be Secretary of Defense.”

Writer and podcast host Jake Novak agreed, posting: ‘Lloyd Austin back in the hospital. President with dementia, SecDef with chronic illness. This is the threat to our troops…but the big story is insulting Nikki Haley’s husband?!?’

The retired general said at his news conference this month that his prostate cancer diagnosis was a “punch in the gut.”

“I was being treated for prostate cancer,” he said. ‘The news moved me and I know it moves many others, especially in the black community. It was a punch in the stomach.

“Frankly, my first instinct was to keep it private,” the Pentagon chief added. ‘I don’t think it’s anything new that he’s a pretty reserved guy. I never like to burden others with my problems.’

‘It’s just not my way. But I learned from this experience that taking on this kind of work means losing some of the privacy that most of us expect. “The American people have a right to know if their leaders are facing health problems that could affect their ability to perform their duties, even temporarily,” he stated.

Major General Ryder’s full statement on Austin’s hospitalization reads:

‘Today, at approximately 2:20 p.m., Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III was transported by his security team to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to be treated for symptoms suggestive of an emerging bladder problem. The Under Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have been notified. Additionally, there have been notifications to the White House and Congress.

‘At this time, the Secretary retains the functions and duties of his position. The Under Secretary is prepared to assume the functions and duties of the Secretary of Defense, if he so requires. Secretary Austin traveled to the hospital with the classified and unclassified communications systems necessary to perform his duties.

“We will provide an update on Secretary Austin’s condition as soon as possible.”

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