Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Hospitalized Due To Bladder Issue Amid Prostate Cancer Recovery

February 12, 2024 - Reading time: 2 minutes

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was recently hospitalized due to a bladder issue while recovering from prostate cancer.

He has transferred his authorities to his deputy, Kathleen Hicks, as he continues treatment and recovery. The Pentagon announced that Austin's symptoms suggested an emergent bladder issue, prompting him to be transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for further evaluation and care.

Austin was initially diagnosed with prostate cancer in December and has been dealing with complications from his treatment ever since. As of Sunday evening, he remains hospitalized at the critical care unit, receiving supportive care and close monitoring by medical professionals. The current bladder issue is not expected to change Austin's anticipated full recovery, according to Dr. John Maddox and Dr. Gregory Chesnut.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as the White House and Congress, have been informed about Austin's hospitalization. It remains unclear if this will affect his upcoming travel plans, which include a meeting in Brussels to discuss military support for Ukraine after Russia's invasion.

Austin underwent a prostatectomy procedure on December 22nd and experienced complications soon after. He was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on January 1st due to extreme pain, where he stayed until January 15th before continuing his recovery at home. Austin has since returned to the Pentagon for work but continues to make follow-up visits to Walter Reed for further evaluation and treatment.

The Defense Secretary's initial diagnosis and hospitalization were not disclosed to President Joe Biden, Congress, or his deputy defense secretary for several weeks. This secrecy is currently under investigation by an inspector general and the subject of a Pentagon internal review. Austin has maintained that he never instructed his staff to keep his hospitalization a secret.

DW Staff

David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.