Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in critical care unit for monitoring, doctor says

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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in critical care unit for monitoring, doctor says

Amid Concerns Over Emergent Bladder Issue, Deputy Secretary Hicks Assumes Duties

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was rushed back to the hospital on Sunday afternoon, as per a Pentagon spokesman, due to “symptoms suggesting an emergent bladder issue,” escalating concerns about the senior official’s health.

Concerns Prompt Transfer of Duties

Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary, informed the public early Thursday evening that Secretary Austin had delegated his responsibilities to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks. Ryder stated, “At approximately 4:55 pm today, Secretary Austin transferred the functions and duties of the office of the Secretary of Defense to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks.” This move, unprecedented during Austin’s tenure, underscores the severity of his health condition.

Admittance to Critical Care Unit

Following the transfer of duties, Secretary Austin was admitted to the critical care unit at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Dr. John Maddox and Dr. Gregory Chesnut, Austin’s attending physicians, released a statement late Sunday night, explaining the situation. “Tonight, after a series of tests and evaluations, the Secretary was admitted into the critical care unit at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for supportive care and close monitoring,” the statement read.

Ongoing Evaluation and Support

While specific details about Austin’s condition remain undisclosed, the medical team at Walter Reed continues to conduct thorough assessments. “Earlier today, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III was transported by his security detail to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to be seen for symptoms suggesting an emergent bladder issue,” stated the doctors. This ongoing evaluation underscores the gravity of the situation.

Deputy Secretary Assumes Responsibilities

With Austin under intensive medical care, Deputy Secretary Kathleen Hicks has stepped in to fulfill the duties of the Secretary of Defense. This significant transition ensures that essential tasks and decision-making processes within the Department of Defense remain uninterrupted despite Austin’s absence.

The Path Forward

As Secretary Austin undergoes treatment and monitoring, officials have assured that updates regarding his condition will be provided promptly. The continuity of leadership under Deputy Secretary Hicks offers stability during this challenging period for the Department of Defense.

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