Doctors Say Def Sec Austin Underwent Non-Surgical Procedures For Bladder Issue
US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin speaks during an in-person Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting at Ramstein Air Base, southwestern Germany, on April 21, 2023.
(Photo by ANDRE PAIN/AFP via Getty Images)

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin appears to be doing well after receiving treatment for a bladder issue that led to him being transferred into critical care at a hospital in Maryland on Sunday, the Biden administration official’s doctors said on Monday.

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center officials provided a status update for Austin, who the Pentagon said has temporarily transferred his functions and duties to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks as Austin recovers from yet another health complication after being treated for prostate cancer.

Austin “underwent non-surgical procedures under general anesthesia to address his bladder issue. We anticipate a successful recovery and will closely monitor him overnight,” the doctors said in a statement. “A prolonged hospital stay is not anticipated. We anticipate the Secretary will be able to resume his normal duties tomorrow. The current bladder issue is not expected to change his anticipated full recovery. His cancer prognosis remains excellent.”

Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters Austin no longer plans to travel to Brussels this week for meetings related to Ukraine and NATO, but other military officials will participate in the talks. Austin intends to appear virtually for a Ukraine Defense Contact Group discussion on Wednesday, Ryder added.

Austin, 70, faced blowback after the revelation that the secretary had been hospitalized on January 1 for complications stemming from a prostate cancer procedure and delegated some of his duties to a deputy without informing top brass in the Biden administration and Congress.

Some critics, including GOP lawmakers and former President Donald Trump, called for Austin’s ouster as more details emerged, including that Austin kept his cancer diagnosis under wraps until the story broke. Multiple inquiries ensued, and the White House released new guidelines for Cabinet secretaries to enhance transparency rules when authority is delegated to a subordinate. Testimony before a House panel has been scheduled for February 29.

The Department of Defense said Austin resumed his duties from home after being released from the hospital on January 15, and the secretary returned to work at the Pentagon on January 29. Austin has expressed remorse for how his cancer diagnosis and hospitalization were handled. When Austin returned to the hospital over the weekend, the Pentagon announced his transport within hours of it happening and has provided multiple updates since that time.

John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, told reporters on Monday that he was “not aware” of whether President Joe Biden had spoken to Austin following his hospitalization over the weekend but insisted the commander in chief did not have concerns about the secretary’s ability to serve.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Doctors Say Def Sec Austin Underwent Non-Surgical Procedures For Bladder Issue