Lloyd Austin Released from Hospital in Latest Development in Prostategate

by Micaela Burrow


Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was discharged from the hospital on Monday more than two weeks after his undisclosed hospitalization following complications from surgery to treat prostate cancer in December, the Pentagon said in a statement.

Austin was transported in an ambulance to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Jan. 1 after experiencing nausea and severe pain in his legs and abdominal area, roughly one week after undergoing a non-invasive surgery to treat prostate cancer, sparking concerns Austin’s whereabouts could weaken the administration’s ability to respond to global threats. Austin was discharged Monday after consultation with his providers and will continue conducting his duties remotely from his home until he returns to the Pentagon, the Department of Defense (DOD) said in an emailed statement on Monday.

“I’m grateful for the excellent care I received at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and want to thank the outstanding doctors and nursing staff for their professionalism and superb support. I also am thankful and appreciative for all the well wishes I received for a speedy recovery,” Austin said in an emailed statement.

“Now, as I continue to recuperate and perform my duties from home, I’m eager to fully recover and return as quickly as possible to the Pentagon,” he added.

Doctors placed him in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on Jan. 2 to treat a urinary tract infection, where he remained until resuming his full duties on Friday, including authorizing retaliatory airstrikes against the Houthi rebels in the Red Sea.

“The Secretary continues to recover well and, on the advice of doctors, will recuperate and perform his duties remotely for a period of time before returning full-time to the Pentagon. He has full access to required secure communications capabilities,” the Pentagon said.

Austin’s doctors said the secretary received non-surgical care to address his needs, including to resolve some of the pains in his legs that triggered his emergency visit to the hospital, according to the statement. Austin is expected to make a full recovery and undergo some physical therapy.

“Secretary Austin’s prostate cancer was treated early and effectively, and his prognosis is excellent. He has no planned further treatment for his cancer other than regular post-prostatectomy surveillance,” the doctors said in the statement.

During his hospitalization, Austin transferred “certain operational authorities” that require “constant secure communications capabilities” to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder told CNN. Hicks, who was on vacation in Puerto Rico at the time, had access to a secure communications suite and conducted some routine business on Austin’s behalf without knowing the reasoning behind the transfer.

Not even the president was aware Austin had received a prostate cancer diagnosis in early December or the nature of the Dec. 22 surgery and ensuing complications until Tuesday.

The Pentagon’s internal watchdog is investigating the circumstances surrounding Austin’s disappearance, including whether he or his staff breached DOD protocol in failing to disclose the secretary’s Dec. 22 or Jan. 1 hospitalizations.

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Micaela Burrow is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.



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