– The US Secretary of Defense was in the hospital suffering from prostate cancer
Lloyd Austin had to be treated in the intensive care unit, US President Joe Biden knew nothing about this, and the White House reacted angrily accordingly.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin revealed that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The disease was identified early and the prognosis for recovery was “excellent,” as the responsible clinic near Washington, D.C., announced on Tuesday. Due to complications after the procedure at the end of December The 70-year-old man has had to receive treatment in hospital since the beginning of the year.
The clinic said prostate cancer was diagnosed at the beginning of December. Shortly before Christmas, Austin underwent minimally invasive surgery. A statement issued by Walter Reed Military Hospital in Bethesda said that the minister “recovered from the operation without any problems and returned home the next morning.”
On New Year's Day, the Defense Minister was taken to hospital due to complications, including nausea and severe stomach, hip and leg pain. Initial examination revealed a urinary tract infection. On January 2, he was transferred to the intensive care unit. According to the clinic, fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity causes problems.
The infection has now subsided. Austin is making progress and a “full recovery” is expected, but this could be a long process. “During this stay, Secretary Austin never lost consciousness and was never under general anesthesia,” the clinic said.
Information policy under attack
The Pentagon has been criticized for its media policy. Not only was she informed of the hospital stay very late, she also refrained from providing details. The Pentagon initially did not provide any information about what type of procedure caused complications and what treatment was necessary.
It is common practice in the United States for the public to be very closely informed about the health of senior politicians. The fact that the Defense Minister in particular spent several days in hospital unnoticed due to the situation in the Middle East was met with great incomprehension. When asked, a Pentagon spokesman admitted that the White House was not aware of the original intervention.
The White House is also upset
According to the White House, Biden did not learn that his Secretary of Defense had been diagnosed with prostate cancer until Tuesday morning. “No one in the White House knew that Secretary Austin had prostate cancer until this morning,” John Kirby, communications director for the National Security Council, said Tuesday. This means that Biden found out about Austin's illness a few hours before the audience. Kirby explained that Biden wishes the 70-year-old a speedy recovery. Asked if Biden intends to keep Austin until the end of his term early next year, Kirby said: “Yes.”
At the same time, the White House was clearly critical of Austin's media policy. “This is not the way it's supposed to happen,” Kirby said. This is why Biden wants to reconsider the procedures for such cases in the government. Kirby said it's important to make sure something like this doesn't happen again. As a member of the Cabinet, everyone knows that this comes with a commitment to being as transparent as possible.