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 situation”, 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 an announcement, 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 prognosis, sparking criticism as america 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 issues 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 Navy Medical Middle”, Ryder stated in an earlier assertion.
“The Deputy Secretary of Protection and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees have been notified. Moreover, White Home and Congressional notifications have occurred.”
Initially Ryder famous that the protection chief introduced alongside categorized communications programs and can be retaining “the features and duties of his workplace”.
The announcement that Hicks would as an alternative be taking up got here just some hours later, nonetheless. Ryder stated the Pentagon would give extra updates as quickly as attainable.
After coming below heavy political hearth for preserving the earlier hospital stays secret, Austin apologised earlier this month.
“I ought to have instructed the president about my most cancers prognosis,” he instructed journalists on Feb 1.