Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was discharged from the hospital following a two-week stay due to complications from surgery to treat prostate cancer.
Austin was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on January 1st, and the Pentagon kept the news quiet for several days.
The Pentagon released a statement Monday saying Austin would work remotely from home "for a period of time."
Defense Secretary Austin Finally Leaves Hospital After 2 Weeks, Refuses To Resign https://t.co/8nSUdsEARM
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) January 15, 2024
"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 said.
"I’m grateful for the excellent care I received at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and want to thank the outstanding doctors and nursing staff for their professionalism and superb support. I am also thankful and appreciative of the well wishes I received for a speedy recovery," Austin said in a statement.
"Now, as I continue to recuperate and perform my duties from home, I’m eager to recover and return as quickly as possible to the Pentagon," he added.
Image from CSPAN X Post
CBS News reports:
Austin, who was hospitalized New Year's Day, spent some 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 said the cancer was "detected early, and his prognosis is excellent."
The initial procedure to remove Austin's prostate had taken place a little over a week earlier, on Dec. 22, and then on Jan. 1, he experienced "severe abdominal, hip, and leg pain," according to his doctors, and was transported by ambulance to Walter Reed.
Austin 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, Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters.
On CBS News' "Face the Nation," national security council spokesman John Kirby said Austin's doctors "feel like he may need some additional care," including physical therapy.
Congressional leaders have demanded answers for the lapse in communication about Austin's health, but Joe Biden reportedly will not consider firing the defense secretary.
"President Joe Biden is not considering firing Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin after he did not tell the White House about his emergency hospitalization...one official noted, the president would not accept a resignation if Austin were to offer one." https://t.co/SyjrnKdq90
— Shashank Joshi (@shashj) January 8, 2024
President Joe Biden is not considering firing Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin after he did not tell the White House about his emergency hospitalization, four senior administration officials told POLITICO.
Beyond that, one official noted, the president would not accept a resignation if Austin were to offer one.
“Austin’s going nowhere,” one of the senior administration officials said.
The Pentagon had already announced that Austin wasn’t planning to resign. “He remains focused on conducting his duties as secretary of Defense in defense of our nation,” DOD spokesperson Maj. Gen. Patrick Ryder told reporters.
The decision by Biden to stand by Austin comes amid calls from Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, for him to be fired. Austin did not disclose last week that he was hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center with complications from an undisclosed surgical procedure, raising questions about what ailment he had and why he decided to keep such a sensitive matter secret.