(CTN News) – Following a hospital stay for an “emergent bladder issue”, United States Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has transferred his duties to Deputy Defence Secretary Kathleen Hicks.
The Pentagon’s 70-year-old head is currently in the critical care unit at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Virginia, where officials are informed he is in critical condition.It has not been determined how long he will need to stay in the hospital.
The Pentagon confirmed that the White House and senior defense officials wereLloyd Austin previously faced criticism for not disclosing his prostate cancer diagnosis and hospital stays.
Following the testing, they shared an update that Lloyd Austin had been admitted to the critical care unit for supportive care and closeconfirmed by the hospital.
In December, Lloyd Austin was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The bladder issue is not expected to affect his “anticipated full recovery”, according to his physicians. The prognosis for his cancer remains excellent.
A meeting on the ongoing war in Ukraine was scheduled for Austin to attend on Wednesday in Brussels. Whether or not his hospital stay will interfere with those plans is unknown at this time.
After undergoing surgery late last year to treat cancer, Austin was readmitted to the hospital on New Year’s Day with severe leg, hip, and abdomen pain.
After an evaluation, a urinary tract infection was discovered. He remained in the hospital for two additional weeks.
After Austin’s re-admission in January, senior defense officials and the Biden administration were unaware that he was seriously ill.
Although the defence secretary denied directing staff to cover his hospital stay, he did not clarify whether it was in violation of his instructions.
According to him, he sincerely apologized for not providing adequate notice and had apologized to US Vice President Joe Biden personally.
The vice president remained confident in Lloyd Austin’s leadership, stating that it was “suboptimal” not to disclose his illness severity.
Lloyd Austin is expected to testify before Congress regarding the failure to notify government officials by the end of this month.