Secretary of State Lloyd Austin has found himself back in the hospital, and this time he couldn’t keep it a secret. The Department of Defense wasted no time in letting everyone know that Austin had been admitted to the hospital on Sunday afternoon. This is a stark contrast to his previous hospitalization when he was unconscious for days and no one in the Biden administration had a clue.
It’s still unclear who was in charge of the U.S. military during that first week of the year. But now, the 70-year-old Austin has been admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s critical care unit for what is being described as a bladder issue. The Pentagon released a statement from two doctors at Walter Reed, stating that Austin was admitted for supportive care and close monitoring. They also noted that his prognosis for his prostate cancer was “excellent,” but gave no indication of how long he would be staying in the hospital.
— Home Defense Gun (@HomeDefenseGun) February 12, 2024
Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, who took over some of Austin’s duties during his previous hospitalization, has been informed of his current status. It’s worth mentioning that last time, Hicks was on vacation and didn’t find out about Austin’s hospitalization until several days later. This time, she was given the heads up right away. Meanwhile, President Biden and the White House were left in the dark for three whole days about Austin’s health.
Austin has publicly apologized for failing to inform his boss and colleagues about his health situation in a timely manner, taking full responsibility for the lack of disclosure. While he admits he could have done a better job, he maintains that this was his personal medical procedure and ultimately his decision to make.
In the world of politics, transparency is crucial. Hopefully, Austin’s recent experience will serve as a reminder to be more forthcoming about his health in the future. After all, it’s hard to keep a secret in Washington.