President Biden Condemns Defense Secretary’s “Poor Judgment” in Withholding Hospitalization Details

President Joe Biden sharply rebuked Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday, condemning his decision to withhold information from the government regarding his recent hospitalization for complications arising from prostate cancer surgery as a “display of poor judgment.”

Biden expressed confidence in Austin when asked about it during a visit to Allentown, Pennsylvania. However, Biden agreed that Austin’s failure to notify the White House or other Pentagon officials about his absence showed a lack of judgment.

As per the recent report from the Pentagon on Friday, Austin is currently in a “stable condition” at Walter Reed Medical Center. Despite his hospitalization, he is actively supervising and coordinating the US military’s involvement in operations against Houthi targets. Moreover, he has been in regular communication with senior staff members.

On Sunday, it was revealed that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the highest-ranking military officer in the nation, had been hospitalized for several days without notifying President Biden or other top officials, including those at the Pentagon. Biden was only informed about Austin’s hospitalization on the same day it became public knowledge.

Austin, aged 70, was hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center on January 1 due to complications from a recent elective surgery, according to the Pentagon. Despite increased demands on the Department of Defense and heightened international tensions, Austin has been absent for several days, which has affected his availability for his responsibilities.

The absence of disclosure, in contravention of established protocol, prompted inquiries about the severity of the military leader’s ailment, the rationale for his failure to notify other high-ranking officials, and the existence of a contingency plan inside the Pentagon for his absence.

Republicans in Congress have vociferously expressed their deep-seated indignation, assertively claiming that the Department of Defense deliberately and knowingly suppressed Austin’s physical condition, thereby flagrantly violating the law and undermining the trust of the American people.

The Department of Defense said on Saturday that they refrained from disclosing Austin’s health in order to uphold medical confidentiality. The Pentagon has affirmed that Kathleen Hicks, the Deputy Defense Secretary, is consistently accessible to substitute for Austin. According to CNN, rumors stated that Hicks was on vacation in Puerto Rico when Austin was in the hospital.

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