Walter Reed Releases Lloyd Austin

( – Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center again. Austin was admitted after suffering from a bladder problem, after previously spending several days in the same hospital for complications after a prostate operation. This time his hospitalization wasn’t kept quiet, but it raises questions about how well he can do his job.

Last December, Austin had a prostatectomy at Walter Reed after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. However, he suffered from complications and was readmitted on January 1. Controversially, he didn’t notify either the public or senior administration officials — including the president — that he had been hospitalized. As Deputy SecDef Kathleen Hicks was on vacation at the time and wasn’t told of Austin’s absence for three days, this angered many politicians across the political spectrum, who felt the defense of the nation wasn’t being properly managed. Austin was discharged on January 9, and Walter Reed said it expected him to recover fully.

On February 1, Austin issued a public apology and admitted he “did not handle this right,” but days later he was in the hospital again. On February 11 he was taken to Walter Reed by his security detail after suffering symptoms that suggested a bladder problem. This time he announced it promptly and Hicks was at work and ready to take over, so at least some lessons have been learned.

On February 13, the Pentagon announced that as of that morning Austin “no longer needed critical care monitoring” and had been discharged. The statement said he would be resuming his duties as of 5 p.m. that day, but on medical advice would “perform his duties remotely from home for a period.” He was expected to be back in the Pentagon by the end of the week. There’s no sign the bladder problem was related to his prostate issues, but with US forces in action in the Middle East, it’s worrying that the defense secretary has already been hospitalized twice this year.

Copyright 2024,