- Finding unlikely to appease members of Congress
- Many legislators called for Austin’s resignation
- Austin testifies before the House Armed Services Committee on February 29
The Pentagon found no “malicious intent” in Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin keeping his hospital stay a secret, its internal review concluded.
“Nothing examined during this review demonstrated any indication of malicious intent or an attempt to obfuscate,” the department concluded in its internal review. The unclassified portion was published on Monday.
It found that concerns about medical privacy and a rapidly changing situation were the main culprits in keeping Austin’s hospitalization hidden from President Joe Biden, top Pentagon officials and the public.
The Pentagon found no ‘bad intent’ in Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin keeping his hospital stay a secret.
Inspector General Robert Storch led the review. In announcing it, he said his office would examine any breaches of protocol related to Austin’s surgery for prostate cancer, his rehospitalization for complications and the lack of disclosure to the White House and the general public.
Pentagon Inspector General Robert Storch led the independent review
The finding is unlikely to satisfy members of Congress, many of whom have called for Austin to resign.
Austin is scheduled to testify before the House Armed Services Committee on February 29.
Austin underwent surgery on December 22 for prostate cancer and was released from the hospital the next day.
He returned to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on January 1, but did not tell President Biden his whereabouts until January 4. He also hadn’t told his top deputy, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks.
Austin did not reveal the cause of his surgery (his prostate cancer) until January 9 after facing days of questions about his hospitalization. Biden found out the same day as the general public.
Her complications included “nausea with severe pain in the abdomen, legs and hip.” Early diagnosis was a urinary tract infection But closer examination showed that Austin had a fluid buildup in his abdomen that was impairing the function of his small intestine.
The Secretary of Defense was released from the hospital after 15 days of recovery.
Austin was reinstated to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on February 11, reporting discomfort from a bladder problem related to his prostate in December 2023. cancer surgery. He was released on February 13.
He later apologized to President Biden and the American people for keeping his diagnosis a secret.
He called his prostate cancer diagnosis a “punch in the gut” and said it “shock” him personally.
“I was being treated for prostate cancer. The news moved me and I know it moves many others, especially in the black community. “It was a punch in the stomach,” he said.
‘Frankly, my first instinct was to keep it private. 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.
He said he did not order any staff to keep his condition secret.
“We fell short in this case,” he said.