Lloyd Austin to testify before congress about secret hospitalization


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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been asked to testify before the House Armed Services Committee about his undisclosed hospitalization. The 70-year-old was diagnosed with prostate cancer in early December and on December 22 underwent surgery, and was diagnosed the next day.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been asked to testify before the House Armed Services Committee about his undisclosed hospitalization. The 70-year-old was diagnosed with prostate cancer in early December and on December 22 underwent surgery, and was diagnosed the next day.

But on January 1 he began experiencing 'severe abdominal, leg, and hip pain' and was admitted to Walter Reed hospital. The White House was not informed of his hospitalization until January 4, and did not learn of the cancer diagnosis until January 9 - leading to calls for Austin's resignation.

But on January 1 he began experiencing ‘severe abdominal, leg, and hip pain’ and was admitted to Walter Reed hospital. The White House was not informed of his hospitalization until January 4, and did not learn of the cancer diagnosis until January 9 – leading to calls for Austin’s resignation.

On Thursday Mike Rogers, an Alabama Republican and chair of the Armed Services Committee, wrote to Austin to ask him to appear before the committee on February 14 and explain himself. 'Congress must understand what happened and who made decisions to prevent the disclosure of the whereabouts of a cabinet secretary,' wrote Rogers.

On Thursday Mike Rogers, an Alabama Republican and chair of the Armed Services Committee, wrote to Austin to ask him to appear before the committee on February 14 and explain himself. ‘Congress must understand what happened and who made decisions to prevent the disclosure of the whereabouts of a cabinet secretary,’ wrote Rogers.

Austin spent the first two weeks of 2024 in hospital, and was discharged on Monday to his Virginia home.

Austin spent the first two weeks of 2024 in hospital, and was discharged on Monday to his Virginia home.

President Joe Biden has said Austin has his full support, but Republicans have accused him of being AWOL. 'Maintaining the most ready and lethal force possible requires that everyone in the national security community be able to rely upon the Secretary of Defense's availability and transparency,' said Rogers in his four-page letter to Austin. 'Regrettably, you have not exhibited these attributes throughout this most recent string of events.'

President Joe Biden has said Austin has his full support, but Republicans have accused him of being AWOL. ‘Maintaining the most ready and lethal force possible requires that everyone in the national security community be able to rely upon the Secretary of Defense’s availability and transparency,’ said Rogers in his four-page letter to Austin. ‘Regrettably, you have not exhibited these attributes throughout this most recent string of events.’

Rogers, who has opened an inquiry into Austin's behavior, said he wants Austin to provide details about his communications with the White House and Defense Department officials; the temporary transfer of power to Deputy Secretary Kathleen Hicks; and Austin's official actions during his hospitalization.

Rogers, who has opened an inquiry into Austin’s behavior, said he wants Austin to provide details about his communications with the White House and Defense Department officials; the temporary transfer of power to Deputy Secretary Kathleen Hicks; and Austin’s official actions during his hospitalization.

Hicks took control of some of Austin's powers on January 2, but the White House was not informed.

Hicks took control of some of Austin’s powers on January 2, but the White House was not informed.

The same day Hicks assumed power, the Pentagon press secretary, Austin's chief of staff and Austin's senior military adviser learned that Austin was in the hospital. 'I expect your full honesty and cooperation in this matter,' Rogers said. 'Anything short of that is completely unacceptable.'

The same day Hicks assumed power, the Pentagon press secretary, Austin’s chief of staff and Austin’s senior military adviser learned that Austin was in the hospital. ‘I expect your full honesty and cooperation in this matter,’ Rogers said. ‘Anything short of that is completely unacceptable.’

The public was not informed of Austin's hospitalization until January 5.

The public was not informed of Austin’s hospitalization until January 5.

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