(UnitedVoice.com) – Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was missing in action for days in January, and nobody knew about it. Worse yet, the person who was supposed to be running the DoD wasn’t aware they were in charge. More information is now coming out about the controversial situation.
On New Year’s Day, an aide for the Defense secretary called 911 and asked for an ambulance. The Hill obtained audio of the call and reported that the aide asked the ambulance to arrive at Austin’s house without lights and sirens. They said they were “trying to remain a little subtle.” The operator said the paramedics usually turn the lights and sirens off when they reach a residential neighborhood.
From January 1 through January 4, the secretary was in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center without President Joe Biden knowing. He’d been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit on the first of the month after suffering severe pain in his abdomen, leg, and hip. Deputy Secretary Kathleen Hicks was in Puerto Rico on vacation at this time. She was put in charge as the top authority, but nobody bothered to inform her of that fact.
On January 4, the White House was finally told Austin was in the ICU. Hicks learns she’s in charge of some of the operational duties. Congress wasn’t told about the defense secretary’s hospitalization until January 5.
Austin’s hospitalization came after a December 22 surgery to treat prostate cancer. He developed an infection from the surgery, and that’s why he was admitted to the ICU. Biden has since called Austin’s failure to notify the White House about his hospitalization a lapse in judgment but insists he has confidence in him.
The lack of transparency surrounding the hospitalization has led to Defense Department reviews and questions from Congress. The secretary was released from the hospital more than two weeks after first arriving by ambulance.
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