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Def Sec Austin Released From Hospital After Treatment For Bladder Issue

def-sec-austin-released-from-hospital-after-treatment-for-bladder-issue
Def Sec Austin Released From Hospital After Treatment For Bladder Issue

The Pentagon announced on Tuesday that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had been released from the hospital after receiving treatment for a bladder issue that prompted him to transfer duties to his deputy for a second time in two months.

A statement was released within hours of his departure from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, part of a shift toward more transparency after Austin, 70, faced blowback for not informing top brass in the Biden administration and Congress about his hospitalization on January 1 for complications stemming from a prostate cancer procedure in December.

“Following consultation with medical staff, Secretary Austin was released from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center today at approximately 3:30 pm,” the Department of Defense (DoD) said in the statement. “He is recovering well and resumed his full functions and duties today at 5 pm. The Deputy Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the White House, and Congress have been notified.”

The statement added, “On the advice of his doctors, Secretary Austin will recuperate and perform his duties remotely from home for a period before returning to work at the Pentagon later this week. He has full access to the unclassified and classified communications systems necessary to perform his duties.”

Austin’s doctors also gave an update on the secretary’s latest health situation, including a timeline of events that began over the weekend and details about his treatment.

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“Secretary Austin was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Feb. 11 with discomfort and concern from a bladder issue related to his December 2023 prostate cancer surgery. His condition indicated a need for close monitoring by the critical care team and supportive care. His diagnostic evaluation identified the cause of his bladder issue and it was corrected with non-surgical procedures on Feb. 12,” the physicians said.

“He remained in good condition throughout and no longer needed critical care monitoring on the morning of Feb. 13. He progressed well and was discharged to his home today. He is anticipated to continue his full recovery,” they added. “The bladder issue was not related to his cancer diagnosis and will have no effect on his excellent cancer prognosis.”

Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters on Monday that Austin no longer plans to travel to Brussels this week for meetings related to Ukraine and NATO, but other military officials will participate in the talks.

The DoD confirmed on Tuesday that Austin will still host and deliver opening remarks on Wednesday to a virtual meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group.

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