WASHONGTON: US Secretary of Protection Lloyd Austin, who’s fighting prostate cancer, transferred his duties to his deputy hours after he was taken to hospital for “an emergent bladder concern”, a spokesman stated on Sunday (Feb 12).
Deputy Secretary of Protection Kathleen Hicks “assumed the features and duties” simply earlier than 5pm, Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder stated in a press release, including that Austin was nonetheless receiving therapy and that the White Home and Congress had been knowledgeable.
The announcement got here weeks after it emerged that Austin, 70, had stored earlier hospital stays secret and had not instantly knowledgeable US President Joe Biden of his most cancers analysis, sparking criticism as the US faces crises within the Center East and Ukraine.
Austin successfully vanished from the general public eye for therapy for prostate most cancers in December and once more in January after struggling problems from the process.
This time, the general public was alerted round two hours after he was despatched to the hospital on Sunday afternoon.
Austin “was transported by his safety element to Walter Reed Nationwide Army Medical Middle”, Ryder stated in an earlier assertion.
“The Deputy Secretary of Protection and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Workers have been notified. Moreover, White Home and Congressional notifications have occurred.”
Initially Ryder famous that the protection chief introduced alongside categorized communications programs and could be retaining “the features and duties of his workplace”.
The announcement that Hicks would as a substitute be taking on got here just some hours later, nonetheless. Ryder stated the Pentagon would give extra updates as quickly as doable.
After coming below heavy political fireplace for retaining the earlier hospital stays secret, Austin apologised earlier this month.
“I ought to have advised the president about my most cancers analysis,” he advised journalists on Feb 1.