U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Hospitalized for Bladder Issue, Delegates Powers to Deputy

Washington, D.C. – February 12, 2024

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Hospitalized for Bladder Issue

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, currently recovering from prostate cancer, was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday due to a bladder issue, the Pentagon announced. 

Austin, diagnosed in December, transferred his duties to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks before being hospitalized. Walter Reed medical officials stated that while the duration of his stay is uncertain, the current bladder issue is not expected to impact his overall recovery.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, notified along with the White House and Congress, was scheduled to attend a Ukraine contact group meeting in Brussels and a NATO defense ministers meeting. It remains unclear if these plans will change. 

Despite facing controversies over the delayed disclosure of his cancer diagnosis, Austin’s doctors remain optimistic about his excellent prognosis, stating no further treatments are needed. This marks Austin’s first unscheduled hospitalization due to complications from his cancer treatment.

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