US Secretary of Defense Austin is hospitalized again and transfers his duties to his deputy News

Pentagon says Defense Secretary is receiving care for ‘symptoms indicating an emergency bladder problem’

The Pentagon announced that US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was hospitalized for the second time in a month, after a previous hospital stay that sparked criticism for his lack of transparency.

Austin, who underwent treatment for prostate cancer last year, was transferred to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center due to “symptoms indicative of an emergency bladder problem,” the Pentagon said in a statement on Sunday.

The statement said that Austin, 70, “transferred the duties and duties of the office” to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks.

Austin’s hospitalization comes after he faced criticism from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for failing to disclose his cancer diagnosis and subsequent hospitalization to President Joe Biden, Congress or his vice president for weeks.

Austin, whose absence coincided with security crises in the Middle East and Ukraine, apologized earlier this month for not being more transparent about his health problems.

“I should have told the president about my cancer diagnosis,” he told reporters on February 1.

Biden did He rejected calls to fire Austin Although it was agreed that the Chief of Defense had fallen in judgment.

Austin, a former four-star general who led troops in Iraq, was hospitalized Jan. 1 after developing complications from cancer surgery he underwent a week earlier.

He remained in hospital for two weeks and worked from home for another two weeks while he continued his recovery.

Austin’s handling of the situation is the subject of three investigations, including one by the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General.

Austin was scheduled to leave for Brussels on Tuesday to hold a meeting of a coalition created to coordinate military support for Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion.

It was not immediately clear whether Austin’s trip would go ahead after his hospitalization.

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