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Lloyd Austin Released From Hospital After Two Weeks

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Questions persist on the circumstances surrounding Austin’s lengthy hospital stay.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was released from the hospital today after spending two weeks there for a condition he concealed from senior Biden administration leaders for a considerable length of time.

The Pentagon announced the update in a Monday morning statement.

READ MORE: Lloyd Austin’s ‘Hospitalgate’

“Following consultation with medical staff, Secretary Austin was released from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center today,” the Pentagon wrote. “The Secretary continues to recover well and, on the advice of doctors, will recuperate and perform his duties remotely for a period of time before returning full-time to the Pentagon. He has full access to required secure communications capabilities.”

The Pentagon quoted two medical officials who discussed Austin’s condition.

“Secretary Austin progressed well throughout his stay and his strength is rebounding,” according to Dr. John Maddox, Trauma Medical Director, and Dr. Gregory Chesnut, Director of the Center for Prostate Disease Research at the Murtha Cancer Center, of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. “He underwent a series of medical tests and evaluations and received non-surgical care during his stay to address his medical needs, to include resolving some lingering leg pains.  He was discharged home with planned physical therapy and regular follow up. The Secretary is expected to make a full recovery.”  

Questions persist on the circumstances surrounding Austin’s lengthy hospital stay.

The U.S. security world was outraged that Austin recently spent five days in hospital – including four in an intensive care unit – before the Pentagon revealed the news late on a Friday evening. Much of the outrage has centered on the revelation that Austin and the Pentagon kept the whole thing secret. Only Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, knew that Austin was in the ICU. Brown didn’t tell anyone, possibly because he assumed they already knew. 

They didn’t. Not even President Joe Biden, the National Security Council, Deputy Kathleen Hicks, Congress, nor the media. When word trickled out on the Friday night, the outrage was palpable.

Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), who sit on the Senate Armed Services Committee, demanded a briefing and consequences. 

Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper on immediately criticized the Pentagon for how it handled the incident. 

“Somebody dropped the ball for Secretary Austin on that one,” Esper said on CNN. “It’s an important issue. Very important position, and so people want to know if there’s a steady hand there at the wheel at all times.”

About Susan Katz Keating

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