Lloyd Austin , the US secretary of protection, has transferred duties to his deputy after he was moved to a critical care unit for treatment of symptoms indicating a possible “emergent bladder issue”, the Pentagon has stated.
The news comes following widespread criticism of the lack of communication in connection to Mr Austin’s earlier hospitalisation for prostate cancer. It was reported that President Joe Biden was unaware of his prime defence official being out of motion for a number of days earlier than Mr Austin’s situation was communicated.
Pentagon press secretary Maj Gen Patrick Ryder stated in a statement on Sunday that Mr Austin, 70, was taken to hospital by his security detail at about 2.20pm.
He added that Mr Austin was taken to “Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to be seen for symptoms suggesting an emergent bladder issue. The deputy secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have been notified. Additionally, White House and congressional notifications have occurred”.
Initially, Mr Austin retained the duties of his workplace, but in a follow-up statement, the press secretary stated that “at approximately 4:55 pm today, secretary Austin transferred the functions and duties of the office of the secretary of defense to deputy secretary of defense Kathleen Hicks. The deputy secretary of defense has assumed the functions and duties”.
Doctors on the hospital stated in yet one more statement afterward Sunday that “after a series of tests and evaluations, the secretary was admitted into the critical care unit at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for supportive care and close monitoring”.
“At this time, it is not clear how long secretary Austin will remain hospitalised. The current bladder issue is not expected to change his anticipated full recovery. His cancer prognosis remains excellent,” they added.
The preliminary assertion concerning Mr Austin’s hospitalisation got here inside three hours of his arrival at Walter Reed, a transparent response to keep away from errors of the previous. Mr Austin beforehand stated that there had been failures within the lack of communication about his medical standing each in direction of the general public and the remainder of the Biden administration.
Mr Austin “traveled to the hospital with the unclassified and classified communications systems necessary to perform his duties”, the Pentagon press secretary stated earlier than the protection secretary handed over his duties to Ms Hicks.
Mr Austin was identified with prostate most cancers in early December, present process a process on 22 December, for which basic anaesthesia and staying in a single day at Walter Reed had been wanted. Following problems from that process, Mr Austin had to return to the hospital on New Year’s Day.
Mr Austin’s hospitalisation being unannounced for days prompted important issues concerning transparency, with Republicans eviscerating the Pentagon for his or her dealing with of the state of affairs.
Towards the top of February, Mr Austin is about to seem earlier than the Republican-controlled House Armed Services Committee to handle their issues, CNN noted.
Mr Austin spent two weeks within the hospital and subsequently labored from residence for an additional two weeks.
Appearing earlier than the Pentagon press corps on 1 February, he stated: “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 apologise to my teammates and to the American people.”
The workplace of the secretary of protection completed a month-long overview of the communication procedures concerning the switch of duties.
Maj Gen Ryder informed the press on Thursday that Mr Austin is wanting on the overview, including that whereas giant elements of it are categorized, the Pentagon would try to share as a lot as attainable with the general public.