March 4th, 2024

Defense Sec. Austin hospitalized with bladder issue, but ‘retaining the functions’ of office

By The Associated Press on February 11, 2024.

Kenya's Defense Minister Aden Duale, center left, speaks during a meeting with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, center right, at the Pentagon in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was hospitalized Sunday following symptoms pointing to an “emergent bladder issue,” the Pentagon says.

In a statement, the Pentagon said Austin was transported by his security detail to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center around 2:20 p.m. He “is retaining the functions and duties of his office,” said Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, but added that the deputy defense secretary has been notified and is prepared to assume Austin’s duties “if required.”

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was also notified, as well as the White House and some members of Congress.

Ryder said Austin traveled to the hospital with the unclassified and classified communications systems needed to perform his job.

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