WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was hospitalized Sunday following signs pointing to an “emergent bladder issue,” the Pentagon mentioned.
In an announcement, the Pentagon mentioned Austin was transported by his safety element to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center round 2:20 p.m. He “is retaining the functions and duties of his office,” in keeping with Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, who added that the deputy secretary of protection, Kathleen Hicks, has been notified and is ready to imagine Austin’s duties “if required.”
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was additionally notified, in addition to the White House and a few members of Congress.
Austin was scheduled to depart Tuesday for Brussels to carry a gathering of the Ukraine contact group, which he established in 2022 to coordinate navy help for Kyiv after Russia’s invasion. It was not instantly clear if this hospitalization would change these plans.
Austin was identified with prostate most cancers in December and underwent a process known as a prostatectomy to deal with it on Dec. 22.
Over the following week, he developed problems and on Jan. 1, in excessive ache, he was taken to Walter Reed by ambulance the place he was admitted to the intensive care unit.
Austin didn’t inform President Joe Biden, Congress or his deputy protection secretary of his most cancers prognosis or preliminary hospitalization for weeks. That secrecy has change into the topic of an inspector basic investigation and a Pentagon inner evaluate. He has beforehand mentioned he by no means instructed his employees to maintain his hospitalization a secret.