Austin in Critical Care at Walter Reed; Duties Transferred to Hicks

February 12, 2024

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin returned to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Sunday for an “emergent bladder issue,” the Pentagon announced, according to CNN and other outlets.

Austin transferred the functions and duties of his job to Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks, according to a Sunday statement. The Joint Chiefs Chair, the White House and Congress were notified.

“After a series of tests and evaluations, the secretary was admitted into the critical care unit… for supportive care and close monitoring,” his doctors said Sunday night in a statement. “At this time, it is not clear how long Secretary Austin will remain hospitalized. The current bladder issue is not expected to change his anticipated full recovery.”

The doctors said that his prostate cancer prognosis “remains excellent.”

Several weeks ago, Austin chose not to disclose that he had prostate cancer or that he was hospitalized for treatment complications. He later apologized and vowed to become an advocate for prostate exams, as On Base reported.

“You can count on me to set a better example on this issue today and for the rest of my life,” he said Feb. 1.

DOD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt Eugene Oliver

February 12, 2024

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