Lloyd Austin Agrees To Testify on Lack of Transparency Regarding Hospitalization

Lloyd Austin Agrees To Testify on Lack of Transparency Regarding Hospitalization

(LibertyInsider.org) – Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has agreed to testify on his lack of transparency regarding his health within the Biden administration after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in December 2023. He is currently scheduled to testify on the matter before a House Armed Services Committee hearing on February 29.

The controversy over Austin’s health status first came to light after it was revealed that he had not only been hospitalized for complications arising from prostate surgery but also failed to disclose the original procedure itself and his cancer diagnosis to top US officials, including President Joe Biden. GOP leaders immediately expressed concern about the lack of transparency and questioned whether he could fully carry out the demands of his job.

A timeline of events reveals that Austin underwent a prostatectomy at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on December 22 to address a cancer diagnosis received that same month. The Pentagon was reportedly made aware of the situation at that time and transferred a number of his powers to Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks. However, neither Austin nor the Pentagon disclosed the surgery to President Joe Biden or the American public.

The defense secretary was initially discharged from the hospital in relatively good condition a short time later. However, he was readmitted to Walter Reed’s ICU on January 2 after he began experiencing severe pain from complications, including a urinary tract infection.

Despite the seriousness of Austin’s condition, it was another three days before senior members of the national security team and the president were made aware of it. Austin’s chief of staff, Kelly Magsamen, finally informed Hicks about his illness on January 4, but the Department of Defense didn’t notify Congress until 5 p.m. the next day.

The delay in disclosure prompted Austin to issue an apology on February 1. In a public appearance, he acknowledged his mishandling of the situation and admitted that he should have been more transparent. “I want to be crystal clear: We did not handle this right. I should have told [Biden] about my cancer diagnosis,” he said.

Austin also attempted to explain what motivated the communication failure in the first place. “It was a gut punch,” he said. “I don’t think it’s news that I’m a pretty private guy.” The defense secretary also said he didn’t want to burden anyone with his problems.

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