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Pentagon reveals details of Austin's hospitalization: Prognosis is good

Pentagon reveals details of Austin's hospitalization: Prognosis is good Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin (
Author: Maria Kholina

Pentagon Defense Minister Lloyd Austin was hospitalized on January 1 after experiencing severe pain following a routine medical procedure. He remains in the hospital but has fully resumed his duties, according to Pentagon spokesperson Patrick Ryder during a briefing.

Ryder explained that Austin underwent a scheduled medical procedure on December 22, 2023, at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. While in the hospital, he delegated some operational responsibilities to the Deputy Defense Minister. The Defense Minister was discharged on December 23, continuing to work from home throughout the holidays.

"Austin was admitted to Walter Reed's intensive care unit on the evening of Jan. 1, after experiencing severe pain following an elective medical procedure carried out at the same hospital on Dec. 22. Upon being admitted, Austin underwent testing and evaluation," Ryder said.

Delay in informing about Austin's health status

On January 2, some of Austin's responsibilities were transferred to Deputy Defense Minister Kathleen Hicks. The Minister's office, his deputy, and the Joint Staff were notified of the transfer of duties through email.

Ryder mentioned that the delay in health updates was due to the Defense Minister's chief of staff being down with the flu.

On January 4, the chief of staff and the deputy minister were preparing a public statement to Congress when they were informed that Austin planned to fully resume communication and operational duties on January 5.

Good prognosis

As of now, Austin is still in the hospital. The spokesperson noted that the Defense Minister continues to feel discomfort, but his prognosis is good. Since resuming his duties on Friday evening, he has received operational updates and provided necessary instructions. He has full access to secure communication capabilities and continues to oversee the daily operations of the Department of Defense worldwide.

Austin's hospitalization

It was only during the day on Thursday, January 4, that the U.S. President Joe Biden found out about Austin's absence, as the defense department allegedly kept the situation secret. In response, former President Donald Trump called for Austin's dismissal, but the White House has no such plans.