Lloyd Austin, US Secretary of Defense, is hospitalized in an emergency; he suffers from prostate cancer

The Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, was hospitalized on the afternoon of this Sunday, February 11 after symptoms that pointed to an “emerging bladder problem”the Pentagon said.

In a statement, the Pentagon said Austin was transported by his security team to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center around 2:20 p.m. He “retains the functions and duties of his position” according to Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, who added that the deputy secretary of defense has been notified and is prepared to assume Austin’s duties “if necessary.”

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was also notified, as well as the White House and some members of Congress.

Ryder said Austin traveled to the hospital with the communications systems classified and unclassified necessary to do your job.

Austin was scheduled to leave on Tuesday, February 13, for Brussels to hold a meeting of the contact group with Ukraine, which he established in 2022 to coordinate military support for kyiv after the Russian invasion. After that, Austin was scheduled to attend a regular meeting of defense ministers of NATO. It was not immediately clear if this hospitalization would change those plans.

Austin was diagnosed with prostate cancer in December and underwent a procedure called prostatectomy to treat it on December 22.

Over the next week, he developed complications and on January 1, in extreme pain, They took him by ambulance to Walter Reed, where he was admitted to the intensive care unit. Austin remained at Walter Reed until January 15. He then continued to recover and work from home, and returned to the Pentagon on January 29.

His doctors have previously said that His prognosis against cancer is “excellent” and that no further treatments will be necessary.

Austin has returned to Walter Reed for follow-up since his hospitalization, but This is your first unscheduled trip. due to continued complications from his cancer treatments.

Austin did not inform President Joe Biden, Congress or his deputy secretary of defense, Kathleen Hicks, of his cancer diagnosis or initial hospitalization for weeks. That secret has become the subject of an investigation of the inspector general and an internal review of the Pentagon. He previously said that he never ordered his staff to keep his hospitalization a secret.