US defence chief Lloyd Austin hospitalised again, transfers duties to deputy
The Pentagon has announced that United States Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been hospitalized for the second time within a month, following an earlier hospital stay that faced criticism for a perceived lack of transparency.
Lloyd Austin (70) who battled prostate cancer last year, was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center due to 'symptoms suggesting an emergent bladder issue,' according to a statement released by the Pentagon on Sunday.
In light of his hospitalization, Austin has transferred the responsibilities and duties of his office to Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks, as mentioned in the official statement.
This latest hospitalization comes after Austin faced criticism from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for not promptly disclosing his cancer diagnosis and subsequent hospital stays to President Joe Biden, Congress, or his deputy, which occurred over several weeks.
The Defense Secretary's absences during security crises in the Middle East and Ukraine prompted questions about the transparency of his health-related information. Earlier this month, Austin publicly apologized for not being more forthcoming about his health issues.
Lloyd Austin, a former four-star general with experience leading troops in Iraq, was initially hospitalized on January 1 due to complications from cancer surgery conducted a week prior. He spent two weeks in the hospital and continued his recovery by working from home for an additional two weeks.