OAN’s Abril Elfi
5:12 PM – Tuesday, January 9, 2024
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and is now being hospitalized following a surgical procedure.
Doctors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center said on Tuesday that Austin has been in the hospital since January 1st after he reportedly had surgery to treat his prostate cancer.
The White House announced that President Joe Biden was not informed of Austin’s diagnosis until Tuesday morning.
According to Walter Reed doctors who spoke to the press, Austin underwent the initial cancer surgery on December 22nd. Then, on January 1st, he began experiencing complications from the procedure, including nausea and severe abdominal, hip, and leg pain, which was later identified as a urinary tract infection (UTI).
Austin waited until last Thursday to tell White House staff about his emergency hospitalization, a communication lapse that can pose a risk to national security.
Previous to the announcement on Tuesday, the reason for his hospital stay was unknown.
Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder stated that Austin has taken responsibility for the “issues with transparency” about his health status.
“Secretary Austin has taken responsibility for the issues with transparency, and the Department is taking immediate steps to improve our notification procedures,” he said .
He continued, saying that Austin’s chief of staff has instructed Pentagon officials to conduct a “30-day review of the department’s notification process for assumption of functions and duties of the Secretary of Defense.”
Many are calling for Austin’s resignation to the White House among his diagnosis and the secrecy surrounding it. However, Austin said that he will not be stepping down from his post, and he also maintained that Biden and the White House would be backing him.
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