The Pentagon announced on Monday that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who had been hospitalized covertly for days due to complications from prostate cancer, had been released from the hospital.
The retired military general’s doctors stated that no treatments are currently scheduled and that a full recovery is anticipated.
He has “full access to required secure communications capabilities as he works remotely,” according to a statement from the Pentagon.
Before national security advisor Jake Sullivan told President Joe Biden of his Defense Secretary’s hospitalization more than a week ago, the Pentagon had kept him in the dark about it for at least three days.
According to US media accounts, Joe Biden was unaware of Lloyd Austin’s whereabouts when the Secretary was admitted to the hospital on January 1.When they discovered the Pentagon chief’s health status, not only Biden but also the highest ranking White House officials were taken aback.
On January 4, the Pentagon released a formal statement about its commander that drew harsh criticism from throughout the nation.
Austin’s physicians believe he will make a full recovery.
A week and a half ago, Pentagon spokesman Patrick S. Ryder explained the delay by saying, “It was an evolving situation, in which we had to consider a number of factors, including medical and personal privacy issues.”
Because the defense secretary is positioned lower in the military chain of command than the president, the role is significant in the US government structure.
The 70-year-old underwent another prostate cancer operation earlier in December, and on New Year’s Eve, problems sent him to the hospital.
That being said, Secretary Austin and President Biden had a “cordial conversation,” during which the former indicated “complete trust and confidence.”
Austin thanked his medical staff in a statement released on Monday, saying: “As I continue to heal and carry out my responsibilities from home, I am now eager to fully recover and return to the Pentagon as soon as possible while I continue to recover and carry out my duties from home.”