'I did not handle it right': Lloyd Austin addresses hospitalization amid his prostate cancer surgery complications

'I did not handle it right': Lloyd Austin addresses hospitalization amid his prostate cancer surgery complications
Lloyd Austin was appointed as the Defense Secretary in January (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin appeared before the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday, February 29, to explain the delay in notifying the president, Congress, and the public about his hospitalization.

He stayed in the intensive care unit after complications from prostate cancer surgery. "I did not handle it right. But let me be clear: I never intended to keep my hospitalization from the White House… or from anybody else," Austin said.



 

Jim Banks calls the incident embarrassing

It was Republican representative Jim Banks of Indiana who questioned why the internal review the Pentagon released earlier this week did not hold anyone accountable for waiting several days, as per CBS News.

"Who will be held accountable for this embarrassment?" Banks asked. A review released a few days ago found that there had been ‘no deliberate attempt by Austin or his aides to keep the hospitalization a secret, but it acknowledged that policies for transferring the defense secretary's responsibilities during an emergency must be improved.’

"There was never a break in command and control," Austin told members of the House, adding "We transferred authority in a timely fashion. What we didn't do well was the notification of senior leaders."

Austin also pointed at his team over the delay, saying “In my case, I would expect that my organization would do the right things to notify senior leaders if I'm the patient in the hospital."



 

Who filled in for the Defense Secretary position?

He assumed the position of Defense Secretary under President Joe Biden, delegated his responsibilities to Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks at approximately 4.55 pm on Sunday, February 25.

This transition of duties was communicated to the White House, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Congress, Pentagon Press Secretary Maj Gen Pat Ryder confirmed, reports MEAWW.

Social media also reacted to Lloyd Austin's statement. "Curious how this is not an impeachable offense or at the least a violation of the UCMJ," wrote one. "We’re still spending time on this? 🤦‍♂️," said a second user. A third user tweeted, "He already apologized publicly and President Biden is okay with the apology. Move on. This isn't something you remove someone for."

"It’s not like the Secretary told Biden he weighed 175lbs or claimed he Aced a dementia test. Not like the Country had Kash Patel in the acting role. He had a complication with a cancer surgery and America was never in danger," expressed another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 

 



 

 

 



 

Share this article:  'I did not handle it right': Lloyd Austin addresses hospitalization amid his prostate cancer surgery complications