US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin apologized because his department did not sooner announce his presence in the hospital. US President Joe Biden also did not learn that Austin had been recorded until a few days later.
The minister was admitted on Monday for a non-essential procedure. He then had to stay in the hospital until Saturday due to complications. According to American media, he is in intensive care.
The Department of Defense did not announce Austin's acceptance until after the end of the business day on Friday. “I realize I could have done a better job ensuring the public was informed,” Austin wrote in a brief statement. “I promise I'll get better.”
As Secretary of Defense, the seventy-year-old Austin holds a key position in the command structure of the US Armed Forces. After President Biden, who is the commander in chief, he is the second in command. He is the link between the military leadership and the president.
It is possible that this role will be transferred to the deputy minister, but it is unclear whether this has happened. News site POLITICO It was reported on Saturday that Biden himself did not learn until Thursday that his minister was in the hospital. The White House does not deny this.
Austin did not mention in his statement the reason for his treatment. It is also unknown what complications occurred. The lack of openness has led to a storm of anger in Washington. Republican Senator Tom Cotton, among others, is demanding clarification from Austin.
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