U.S. SecDef Resumes Duties After Hospitalization

February 14, 2024

On the advice of his doctors, Secretary Austin will recuperate and perform his duties remotely from home for a period before returning to work at the Pentagon later this week.

The Pentagon in a statement announcing that doctors released United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin from the hospital on Tuesday.

Background: Sec. Austin, 70, was admitted to the critical care unit at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center over the weekend for a “bladder issue” stemming from his December prostate cancer surgery, though unrelated to his cancer diagnosis received late last year, doctors said. The most recent hospitalization – in which he transferred his duties to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks – comes a month after the Pentagon received criticism for a perceived lack of transparency with the American public and the White House about Sec. Austin’s January hospital visit related to his December surgery for prostate cancer.

Why It Matters: Sec. Austin resumed authority at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. While he canceled his travel to Brussels to discuss the war in Ukraine with NATO counterparts, Sec. Austin will attend Wednesday’s meeting by video teleconference.

Read More:

From the Pentagon: Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III Released From Hospital

Austin Is Released From the Hospital and Will Return to Work (The New York Times)

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas