Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin discharged from hospital
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was released from the hospital after a two-week stay to treat complications stemming from prostate cancer surgery.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was discharged from the hospital on Monday after a two-week stay to treat complications from surgery to treat prostate cancer, according to a statement from the Pentagon.
The Pentagon stated that Austin continues to recover well and will recuperate and perform his duties remotely before returning full-time to the Pentagon. He has full access to required secure communications capabilities.
Upon his release, Austin thanked the doctors and nursing staff for their professionalism and superb support. He expressed eagerness to fully recover and return to the Pentagon as quickly as possible.
Austin was hospitalized on New Year's Day and spent time in the intensive care unit before being moved to a private area of the hospital to continue his recovery. His doctors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center stated that the cancer was detected early and that his prognosis is excellent.
The initial procedure to remove Austin's prostate took place on December 22, and he experienced severe abdominal, hip, and leg pain on January 1, which led to his hospitalization. He was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection and a buildup of fluids affecting his small intestines, requiring the placement of a tube through his nose to drain his stomach.
As of last Tuesday, his infection had cleared, but he was still experiencing some discomfort. National security council spokesman John Kirby said that Austin's doctors feel he may need additional care, including physical therapy.
During Austin's hospital stay, the Pentagon faced criticism for waiting days to inform the White House, Congress, and the public about Austin's hospitalization and the reason for it. Austin released a statement claiming full responsibility for the decisions about disclosure, and the Defense Department inspector general will review the roles, processes, procedures, responsibilities, and actions related to the hospitalization to ensure timely notifications when the secretary transfers his authority to the deputy secretary.