Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Hospitalized after Surgery Complications

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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Hospitalized after Surgery Complications

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is recovering following complications with elective surgery after being rushed to a Washington, D.C., hospital on Monday.

Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder Pentagon said:

“On the evening of January 1, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for complications following a recent elective medical procedure.”

“He is recovering well and is expecting to resume his full duties today,” Ryder added.

Austin was hospitalized following the surgery but not immediately after, according to Ryder.

The media began reporting on the news about Austin’s hospitalization on Friday.

Fox News reported:

Ryder said the hospitalization was kept from the press due to “medical and personal privacy issues.”

“This has been an evolving situation in which we [have] had to consider a number of factors including medical and personal privacy issues,” Ryder told Fox News.

“We are now in a position to update you.”

It wasn’t immediately clear what the elective medical procedure was or the date of the surgery.

The Pentagon Press Association (PPA), an organization that serves as the voice of journalists covering the Pentagon, sent a letter from its board of directors to Secretary Austin’s personnel on Friday evening.

In the address to Ryder and Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, Chris Meagher shared “significant concern” about the Department’s delayed disclosure of Austin’s hospitalization.

“We are writing to express our significant concerns about the Defense Department’s failure to notify the public and the media about Secretary Lloyd Austin’s current hospitalization,” the letter said.

“The fact that he has been at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for four days and the Pentagon is only now alerting the public late on a Friday evening is an outrage.”

The organization said the Defense Department’s disclosure “falls far below the normal disclosure standards” when senior officials undergo surgery.

“It falls far below the normal disclosure standards that are customary by other federal departments when senior officials undergo medical procedures or are temporarily incapacitated,” the letter said.

The board argued that the American public deserves to know information about incapacitated leaders.

“The public has a right to know when U.S. Cabinet members are hospitalized, under anesthesia or when duties are delegated as the result of any medical procedure,” the letter said.

“That has been the practice even up to the president’s level. As the nation’s top defense leader, Secretary Austin has no claim to privacy in this situation.”

READ: Longtime New Yorker Sean Hannity Flees City for Florida: ‘I’m Done’

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