Pentagon reports Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin hospitalized since New Year's Day after elective operation problems
After suffering from complications related to a recent elective medical procedure, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was reportedly admitted to a hospital on Monday night.
This news comes from an announcement made by the Pentagon earlier this week, as the New York Post reported.
“He is recovering well and is expecting to resume his full duties today,” Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon’s spokesman, said in a statement.
“At all times, the Deputy Secretary of Defense was prepared to act for and exercise the powers of the Secretary, if required,” he added.
Release from The Hospital
According to Ryder, there are a number of factors that come into play when determining when to inform the media about the defense secretary's hospitalization.
However, Ryder did not specify when Austin, who is 70 years old, would be discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where he was reportedly receiving care.
“This has been an evolving situation in which we had to consider a number of factors including medical and personal privacy issues,” Ryder told reporters.
The decision to conceal the fact that Austin was hospitalized from the general public was criticized by the Pentagon Press Association.
“The fact that he has been at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for four days and the Pentagon is only now alerting the public late on a Friday evening is an outrage,” the group said.
The press association made their comments in a letter addressed to Ryder and Chris Meagher, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs.
“It falls far below the normal disclosure standards that are customary by other federal departments when senior officials undergo medical procedures or are temporarily incapacitated,” the letter continued.
After 41 years of service in the military, Austin attained the rank of four-star general and retired from the Army in 2016.