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U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin released from hospital

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin released from hospital

Austin was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday morning after spending two weeks hospitalized for complications from prostate cancer surgery. Upon his release, Austin issued a statement thanking the medical center staff for their “excellent care” and “professionalism and superb support.” Austin is expected to work remotely for an unspecified period before returning to the office, the Pentagon said. His discharge comes even as his office conducts an internal policy review. The Department of Defense is being investigated at the same time by the Defense Department’s Inspector General.

Why is an investigation needed? Austin was admitted to the hospital on Jan. 1, but neither the White House nor Congress was notified about his diagnosis, initial procedure, or subsequent complications and hospitalization until days later. The Pentagon did not notify the media until Jan. 5. The delay in notification has caused some to question the Biden administration’s ability to be transparent and to communicate when appropriate. Austin was still hospitalized on Thursday when the U.S. and Britain conducted joint strikes on dozens of Houthi targets in Yemen. He oversaw that operation from his hospital room.

Dig deeper: Read Katelyn Walls Shelton’s column in WORLD Opinions on the Pentagon’s “indefensible” abortion policy.

Travis K. Kircher

Travis is the associate breaking news editor for WORLD.

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