Defense Secretary Austin Hospitalized Again

  • Early Sunday night, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was brought to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center with an "emergent bladder issue." Austin delegated his responsibilities to Kathleen Hicks, the deputy secretary of defense, while he's hospitalized. Guardian (LR: 2 CP: 5)
  • Austin, 70, was diagnosed with prostate cancer early in December and underwent surgery Dec. 22 . Due to complications from the procedure, Austin went back into the hospital on New Year's Day and remained there for two weeks. CNN (LR: 2 CP: 5)
  • In a statement, the Pentagon said Austin was hospitalized "for supportive care and close monitoring." After testing, Austin's doctors said his current situation would not affect his "anticipated full recovery" and "his cancer prognosis remains excellent." BBC News (LR: 3 CP: 5)
  • The public was notified approximately two hours after Austin was admitted to the hospital. Previously, he drew criticism for waiting days following his hospitalization before telling Pres. Joe Biden. France 24
  • Austin was set to travel to Brussels on Tuesday to meet with the Ukraine Defense Contact Group to coordinate military support for Ukraine. However, a defense official confirmed Monday that the meeting will be held virtually. CBS (LR: 2 CP: 5)

Republican narrative:

  • This is becoming an unnecessary roller-coaster at a time when the US needs stability amid a tumultuous world. Austin should've resigned over his dereliction of duty when he didn't disclose his hospitalization to the president. Just because he was more transparent this time around doesn't mean he can be relied upon during sensitive times.
    DAILY WIRE (LR: 5 CP: 3)

Democratic narrative:

  • Austin admitted his previous lack of transparency about his hospitalization was a lapse in judgment, so this time he informed the proper people about his medical issues. The chain of command — which was not breached during his first medical absence — exists for a reason, and it's serving its purpose this time around as well to make sure the US is always secure.
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