US Defense Secretary Austin hospitalized for urgent bladder issue, will he be available for duty? 

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Credit | REUTERS

United States: US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was moved to a critical care unit in Washington on Sunday for treatment of “symptoms suggesting an emergent bladder issue,” according to Walter Reed Military Medical Center officials. 

Austin, who is now 70 years old, eventually transferred the responsibilities of his office to the Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, the Pentagon Press Secretary Major General Pat Ryder said in a statement, as reported by Reuters. 

Past Controversy Lingers as Austin faces New Health Challenge 

Among them were both Republican and Democratic lawmakers who criticized Austin last month for not disclosing a cancer diagnosis and subsequent hospitalizations in December and January, even to President

Joe Biden. Many Republicans, including the former United States president Donald Trump, requested Austin’s removal from office. 

It was embarrassing for Biden, and Austin apologized during a televised press conference. He will testify before Congress on February 29 about the situation. 

The incident was an embarrassment for Biden, and Austin apologized during a televised news briefing. He is scheduled to testify before Congress on February 29 about the situation. 

President Joe Biden has shown his confidence in Austin despite what the president agreed was a lapse in Judgement. 

With its announcement of the secretary’s trip to the hospital and the quick decision to transfer his duties to a deputy, the Pentagon appeared determined to avoid what happened in last month’s political uproar. 

The Pentagon appeared determined to resolve to not to let the political controversy of last month happen again, as seen by its swift decision to transfer the secretary’s duties to a deputy and its announcement of the secretary’s Journey to the hospital, Reuters reported.

Uncertain Hospital Stay Duration and Positive Cancer Prognosis 

On Sunday, the hospital officials stated in a statement that the length of Austin’s hospital stay was unknown. 

The experts stated that Austin’s cancer prognosis remained excellent and that they did not anticipate the bladder issue to interfere with his planned full recovery.

International Commitments in the middle of Health Crisis 

America’s first Black defense secretary, Austin, a retired four-star general who led forces in Iraq, was still in hospital from the last month. Austin’s presence might have played a crucial role When U.S. forces launched a retaliatory strike against an Iranian-backed militia leader in Baghdad,  

Austin’s behavior will be under three types of investigations, including one by the office of the Pentagon’s Inspector General, a watchdog agency that tracks military waste, fraud, and abuse. Republican chairman of the House Armed Services, Mike Rogers, has called Austin to testify. 

Austin is going to Brussels on Wednesday for the Ukraine Defense Contact Group conference. It was unclear how those travel arrangements would be impacted by his hospitalization.