U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has been hospitalized in the intensive care unit at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Virginia for a bladder problem, and has transferred duties to her deputy, Kathleen Hicks. The Pentagon announced this, adding that it is not yet clear how long she will remain in hospital. Austin was diagnosed with prostate cancer last December and underwent surgery. Her secret hospitalization, initially kept hidden even from President Joe Biden, raised controversy in the U.S.
Austin’s first hospitalization was not disclosed until after she had been admitted on January 1 due to complications from her previous surgery. This led to criticism of the Pentagon for not being transparent about her condition earlier on. However, Austin’s team insisted that they were following proper protocol and that her condition was not public knowledge until it became necessary to do so.
Despite this controversy, Austin remains a highly respected figure in the military and government circles. She has been working tirelessly since taking office to improve military readiness and modernize defense capabilities across the board. Her ability to continue leading the Department of Defense despite her ongoing health issues is a testament to her dedication and resilience as well as a reminder of the importance of supporting those who serve our country regardless of their personal circumstances.