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Thursday, May 23, 2024

US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin Hospitalised with Complications from Prostate Cancer Surgery

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WASHINGTON DC, USA – Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, aged 70, has been hospitalized due to complications following prostate cancer surgery, as confirmed by officials at Walter Reed National Military Center.

Austin, who underwent a prostatectomy on December 22, 2023 was admitted to Walter Reed on January 1, 2024 and has since been transferred to the intensive care unit.

The Pentagon faced criticism for delaying the notification of Austin’s hospitalisation to the White House and key defense officials, taking three days to inform them.

This delay prompted a review of procedures regarding the absence of the head of the military from his duties.

President Joe Biden and other top officials were reportedly unaware of Austin’s cancer diagnosis until Tuesday, January 9, 2024, morning, just hours before Walter Reed officials publicly disclosed the information.

The diagnosis was made in early December during routine prostate screening tests. Austin’s surgical procedure, under general anesthesia, initially appeared successful, with officials stating, “His prostate cancer was detected early, and his prognosis is excellent.”

However, complications arose, including nausea, severe abdominal, hip, and leg pain. Austin developed a urinary tract infection and abdominal fluid collections, impairing his small intestine function. These complications required non-surgical intervention and close monitoring in the ICU.

Despite the severity of his condition, officials stated that Austin “never lost consciousness” and “continues to make progress,” anticipating a full recovery.

Throughout his hospitalisation, Austin has remained mentally alert and actively engaged in his duties as Defense Secretary.

Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder assured the public of Austin’s positive recovery trajectory and his ongoing involvement in Department of Defense operations.

Ryder also confirmed that Austin has no intentions of resigning and emphasised that his condition and treatments are deeply personal matters.

The revelation of Austin’s health issues comes amid heightened tensions in the Middle East, including a notable U.S. strike in Baghdad against an Iranian-backed militia member.

The Pentagon’s delayed communication about Austin’s health status and hospitalization raised concerns about the transparency and protocol in reporting the health of high-ranking officials.

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