US Defense Secretary Hospitalized Again Due to Bladder Issue - Pentagon
© AP Photo / Patrick SemanskyDefense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the conclusion of military operations in Afghanistan and plans for future counterterrorism operations, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool)
© AP Photo / Patrick Semansky
MOSCOW, (Sputnik) - US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was again hospitalized for medical examination due to bladder problems, the US Defense Department said on Sunday, adding that Austin would perform his duties while staying in a hospital.
On January 1, Austin was hospitalized due to complications following a surgical procedure to treat cancer. The US Defense Department failed to communicate Austin’s hospitalization to the White House for several days, prompting a Pentagon Inspector General probe and bipartisan calls for him to resign. Austin returned to performing his duties at the Defense Department on January 29.
"Today, at approximately 2:20 pm, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III was transported by his security detail to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to be seen for symptoms suggesting an emergent bladder issue," Pentagon spokesperson Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a statement.
The statement added that Austin's deputy and the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as the White House and Congress, were notified of the hospitalization.
"At this time, the Secretary is retaining the functions and duties of his office. The Deputy Secretary is prepared to assume the functions and duties of the Secretary of Defense, if required," the statement read, adding that Austin has all the necessary "unclassified and classified communications systems" to perform his duties in the hospital.