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Biden admits Pentagon's lapse in not reporting Austin's hospitalization

Biden admits Pentagon's lapse in not reporting Austin's hospitalization President of the United States Joe Biden (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

It was a mistake on the part of the United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin not to inform about his hospitalization, said U.S. President Joe Biden

At the same time, he noted that, as before, he has confidence in the head of the Pentagon.

Speaking to reporters during a tour of local businesses near Allentown, Pennsylvania, Biden answered "yes" when asked if it was a mistake on Austin's part not to inform him about his condition.

He responded "I do" when asked if he was confident that Austin would continue to lead the department, as before.

Austin's hospitalization

70-year-old Austin, as before, is hospitalized, receiving treatment for complications after prostate cancer surgery. The fact that he did not inform about his hospitalization has faced sharp criticism from members of both political parties, and some have called for his resignation.

Austin was hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on December 22, undergoing surgery for the removal of prostate cancer identified earlier in December during a routine check-up.

A week later, he developed an infection, and on January 1, he was admitted to the intensive care unit. Biden and high-ranking officials in the administration were only informed about Austin's hospitalization on January 4, and Austin kept the cancer diagnosis secret until Tuesday.

More details about Austin's illness can be found in RBC-Ukraine's material.