Defense secretary gives up his power due to hospital visit

 May 27, 2024

Lloyd Austin, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), has transferred his power to his deputy. 

This is because, according to the Daily Mail, Austin recently checked into the hospital to undergo a medical procedure, and, as a result, he was "unable to perform his functions" as the secretary of the DOD.

Austin's deputy - the person to whom he has transferred his power - is Kathleen Hicks. She has temporarily acted as the Secretary of the DOD during Austin's procedure.

This is not the first time that Austin, in recent months, has had medical issues, and, apparently, it is all related.


According to the Associated Press, "Austin underwent a medical procedure at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Friday evening."

The outlet reports that the procedure was to address bladder issues that Lloyd has been having following his recent prostate cancer diagnosis.

Per the Associated Press:

Austin is continuing to deal with bladder issues that arose in December following his treatment for prostate cancer . . . Austin, 70, has had ongoing health issues since undergoing surgery to address a prostate cancer diagnosis. He spent two weeks in the hospital following complications from a prostatectomy.

The reader may remember that Austin's December hospital stay led to significant controversy as he - the head of the U.S. Department of Defense - chose not to inform either the president or Congress about his hospitalization.

Austin was back in the hospital not too long after his December stay. The Associate Press reports, "Austin was taken back to Walter Reed in February for a bladder issue, admitted to intensive care for a second time, and underwent a non-surgical procedure under general anesthesia at the time."

The procedure was

According to Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, Austin's latest hospital stay was a success.

Ryder described the two-and-a-half-hour procedure as successful, elective, and minimally invasive.

Ryder also claimed that the procedure "is not related to his cancer diagnosis and has had no effect on his excellent cancer prognosis." But, Ryder did say it "is related to a bladder issue."

According to Ryder, Austin, following the procedure, returned home, and he is expected to immediately return to his duties. "No changes in his official schedule are anticipated at this time, to include his participation in scheduled Memorial Day events," Ryder said.

This also means that Austin has been given back his power - that Hicks is no longer the acting secretary of the DOD.

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