Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was transported to a hospital due to bladder issues.
On Sunday, Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a statement that Austin was transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to “be seen for symptoms suggesting an emergent bladder issue.”
He was expected to resume his “functions and duties of his office” that evening.
However, The Hill noted, “A statement from Walter Reed medical officials late Sunday said Austin was admitted into the critical care unit for supportive care and close monitoring.”
“Dr. John Maddox, the trauma medical director, and Dr. Gregory Chesnut, director of the Center for Prostate Disease Research of the Murtha Cancer Center, said while it was unclear at this time how long Austin will remain hospitalized, ‘the current bladder issue is not expected to change his anticipated full recovery,'” it added.
During a press conference early this month, Austin noted he is “recovering well” from surgery to treat prostate cancer that took place in December.
“I want to be crystal clear, we did not handle this right, and I did not handle this right. I should’ve told the president about my cancer diagnosis. I should’ve also told my team and the American public,” the Defense secretary said.
Defense Secretary Austin on his first major address since his hospital stay:— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) February 1, 2024
"We did not handle this right, and I did not handle this right. I should’ve told the president about my cancer diagnosis. I should’ve also told my team and the American public. And I take full… pic.twitter.com/XWDRGPh4O6
He added, “And I take full responsibility. I apologize to my teammates and to the American people.”
Austin insisted there were no gaps in authority or “risk to the department’s command and control.” He shared new measures have been implemented to ensure such incidents do not occur again.
Austin explained the lapse in notification was due to the “gut-punch” he received from his prostate cancer diagnosis. He added, “Frankly, my first instinct was to keep it private.”
However, he said, “I’ve learned from this experience that taking this kind of job means losing some of the privacy that most of us expect. The American people have a right to know if their leaders are facing health challenges that might affect their ability to perform their duties even temporarily. So a wider circle should have been notified, especially the president.”