Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Moved to Critical Care Unit Following Emergent Bladder Issue

Jimmy Williams

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been transferred to a critical care unit at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after being initially hospitalized for an emergent bladder issue on Sunday. Top doctors at the medical center stated that the change in care was prompted by tests and evaluations related to the bladder issue.

Austin transfered his duties to Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks at around 4:55 p.m. on Sunday, and the White House, Joint Chiefs, and Congress have been informed of the situation. Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder confirmed the change in care and Austin’s security detail transported him to Walter Reed.

It’s unclear how long Austin will remain hospitalized, according to the doctors’ statement from Walter Reed. The defense secretary had previously undergone a minimally invasive procedure for prostate cancer in December. A bladder infection and abdominal problems resulted from the procedure, leading to his hospitalization.

In a statement, trauma director Dr. John Maddox and prostate disease research director Dr. Gregory Chesnut mentioned that the current bladder issue is not expected to impact Austin’s anticipated full recovery. They emphasized that his cancer prognosis remains excellent.

Austin publicly apologized earlier this month for the delay in informing the White House about his hospitalization, acknowledging that the role comes with a loss of some privacy. He stated that the Pentagon had implemented procedures to ensure timely notification in the future.

 

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