Pentagon Releases Review of Austin Hospitalization Handling

February 27, 2024

The Pentagon found that there was no “ill intent” in the decisions that led Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his top staff to keep secret that he was hospitalized in January.

An unclassified summary of DOD’s 30-day review into the incident, released Monday, said that staff, facing an “unprecedented situation” followed standard transfer of authority protocol.

“Although, as hindsight has shown, the process for making decisions to transfer the Secretary’s authority could and should be improved, as further explained in the recommendations approved by the Secretary, nothing examined during this review demonstrated any indication of ill intent or an attempt to obfuscate,” the summary said.

The full report contains eight recommendations for improvements. Austin has agreed to all, and two have already been implemented, DOD said.

Austin is testifying about this topic Thursday at a House Armed Services Committee hearing.

DOD photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Alexander Kubitza

February 27, 2024

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