Lloyd Austin, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, was admitted to the intensive care unit at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Virginia on January 1 due to complications from a bladder problem. Prior to this, he had been secretly hospitalized for a bladder problem and had transferred duties to his deputy, Kathleen Hicks. The Pentagon announced that Austin’s condition is not yet clear and that it is still unclear how long he will remain in hospital.
Austin was diagnosed with prostate cancer last December and underwent surgery. His initial secret hospitalization raised controversy in the U.S., with some questioning why he was not made public and why it took so long for him to be informed about his health issues. This led to a debate over transparency and accountability in government healthcare decisions.
The latest revelation of Austin’s hospitalization has sparked further questions about his health and the reasons behind his medical problems. It remains to be seen how long he will be out of office and whether his absence will have any significant impact on U.S national security policies.