Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Hospitalized Again With a Bladder Issue

The secretary was previously treated for prostate cancer in December.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Sunday after experiencing an "emergent bladder issue,” CBS News reports.

On Sunday (Feb.11), Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder released a statement to provide an update on Austin’s health.

"Today, at approximately 2:20 pm, 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," Ryder said in a statement.

Ryder also added that Austin had "transferred the functions and duties of the office" to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks. 

Officials from Walter Reed officials said that Austin was being treated in the critical care unit of the hospital "after a series of tests and evaluations."

"At this time, it is not clear how long Secretary Austin will remain hospitalized," Walter Reed's statement read. "The current bladder issue is not expected to change his anticipated full recovery. His cancer prognosis remains excellent. Updates on the Secretary's condition will be provided as soon as possible."

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Speaks for First Time on Unexplained Absence from Job

A White House official also confirmed that the Office of the Secretary of Defense informed the White House and the National Security Council about Austin's hospitalization.

This is the latest in a series of health scares that Austin has encountered. In December, he received medical treatments for prostate cancer and a urinary tract infection that was not reported to President Joe Biden of the White House.

Although Austin was diagnosed in November and was hospitalized for eight days, neither Biden nor anyone in his administration was aware of the Secretary's procedure until (Jan. 9).

“Nobody at the White House knew that Secretary Austin had prostate cancer until this morning,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said at the time.

In February, Austin addressed his hospitalization for prostate cancer treatment for the first time and he apologized for keeping his medical matters private. 

“We did not handle this right and I did not handle this right. I should have told the president about my cancer diagnosis. I should have also told my team and the American public, and I take full responsibility,” said Austin. “I apologize to my teammates and to the American people.”

Austin is set to travel to Brussels, Belgium for a meeting with the Ukraine Defense Contact Group this week which would be his first overseas trip since he was hospitalized for the first time.

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