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U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin hospitalized with bladder issue


U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin was hospitalized following symptoms pointing to an ‘emergent bladder issue’. File.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin was hospitalized Sunday following symptoms pointing to an “emergent bladder issue,” the Pentagon said.

In a statement, the Pentagon said Mr. 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,” according to Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, but added that the deputy defence 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.

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

Mr. Austin was scheduled to depart on Tuesday for Brussels to hold a meeting of the Ukraine contact group, which he established in 2022 to coordinate military support for Kyiv after Russia’s invasion. After that, Mr. Austin was scheduled to attend a regular meeting of NATO defence ministers. It was not immediately clear if his hospitalization would change those plans.



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