The Secretary of Defense of U.S, Lloyd Austinwho is battling prostate cancer, was admitted to an intensive care unit after being hospitalized for an “urgent bladder problem”, the newspaper reported on Sunday. Pentagon.
“This evening, after a series of tests and evaluations, the secretary was admitted to the unit in Careful intensive at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for supportive care and close monitoring.”the statement said.
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Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks “assumed the functions and duties” Just before 5pm (2200 GMT), the Pentagon spokesperson said in a statement: Pat Ryderand added that The White House was informed of the hospitalization.
Austin was diagnosed with a prostate cancer and was recently operated on.
The Secretary of Defense disappeared from the public scene at the end of December and again at the beginning of January after suffering complications in cancer treatment, having initially hidden the diagnosis and treatment from the president Joe Biden and the rest of the government.
On this occasion, the public was alerted approximately two hours later Austin was taken to hospital on Sunday afternoon.
Austin was taken by his security team to the medical center “be treated for symptoms that suggest a emerging problem bladderRyder indicated.
Previously Ryder I say that Austin He maintained “the functions and obligations of his position,” but hours later indicated that Hicks would take over the role.
“At this time, it is unclear how long the secretary will remain hospitalized. Austin“, according to a statement released later, citing doctors John Maddox and Gregory Chestnut from hospital.
“The current bladder problem is not expected to change your expected full recovery. “His prognosis for cancer remains excellent,” they added.
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The Defense Secretary apologized earlier this month after being harshly criticized for keeping previous hospitalizations secret.
“I should have informed the president of my cancer diagnosis”he told reporters on February 1.
At the time, he said he was still recovering, that he had pain in his legs and that he used a golf cart to get around. Pentagon.
These absences, as well as the current hospital admission, occur at a time when U.S faces a growing crisis in the Middle East, with US forces in Iraq It is Syria facing almost daily attacks from Iranian-backed fighters in retaliation for staunch support from washington for Israel.
The senior US official is also a key figure in the government’s attempts Biden to maintain support for the struggle Ukraine against the Russian invasion, in a context in which Republican congressmen refuse to authorize new funds for military aid to Kyiv.
Several Republican lawmakers previously called for the impeachment of Austinbut BidenAlthough he regrets the Pentagon chief’s error in judgment, he said he continues to trust his Secretary of Defense.
Austin, an imposing man standing over 6 feet tall, is a very private person who avoid media attentionwhich, according to him, influenced his decision to maintain Secretly diagnosed with cancer.
But he admitted that “Accept this kind of working means losing some privacy that most of us expect.”
“The American people have a right to know whether their leaders face health problems that can affect their ability to perform their duties, even temporarily.”he added.
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