Austin cancels journey to Brussels for NATO and Ukraine conferences as he stays in hospital

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Pictures

US Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks throughout a press convention on the Pentagon in Washington, DC, on February 1.


US Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin canceled a visit to Brussels for NATO and Ukraine conferences later this week as he stays hospitalized at Walter Reed medical heart, in response to a protection official accustomed to the plans.

Austin was taken to the hospital Sunday afternoon with signs “suggesting an emergent bladder concern,” Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary, mentioned Sunday. Austin was then admitted to the hospital’s vital care unit later within the night for extra care and shut monitoring, the hospital mentioned.

Ryder mentioned Monday that Austin is within the intensive care unit “in an effort to present applicable privateness,” and he’ll stay there throughout his keep. Austin’s medical doctors mentioned in an announcement Monday afternoon that Austin underwent “non-surgical procedures underneath basic anesthesia to deal with his bladder concern.”

“We anticipate a profitable restoration and can carefully monitor him in a single day,” the assertion mentioned, including that Austin’s medical doctors consider he’ll have the ability to resume his duties as protection secretary on Tuesday.

It’s nonetheless unclear how lengthy Austin will stay on the hospital, in response to medical workers, although his medical doctors’ assertion mentioned they didn’t anticipate a “extended hospital keep.”

Austin was supposed to steer a gathering of the Ukraine Protection Contact Group (UDCG) in Brussels, adopted by a gathering of the NATO Protection Ministerial. Austin attended the January 23 assembly of the UDCG just about from his house. This week’s assembly of the UDCG will once more be held just about.

On Sunday afternoon, Austin transferred his duties to Deputy Protection Secretary Kathleen Hicks, notifying the president, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Workers and Congress, in response to the Pentagon. Ryder mentioned Monday that Austin could be represented on the UDCG by Celeste Wallander, assistant secretary of protection for worldwide safety affairs, and on the NATO Protection Ministerial by Ambassador Julianne Smith, the US everlasting consultant to NATO.

Austin has confronted vital criticism for his failure to inform senior administration officers, together with President Joe Biden, of his earlier hospitalization and his analysis with prostate most cancers. Austin is scheduled to testify earlier than the Home Armed Providers Committee on the finish of the month in regards to the failure to inform officers.

This time, notification got here shortly from the Workplace of the Secretary of Protection. Austin was taken to the hospital at 2:20 p.m. Sunday, the Pentagon mentioned. Inside three hours, the Pentagon mentioned notifications went out to the president, the Joints Chiefs chair and Congress. A subsequent assertion mentioned Austin had transferred his tasks to his deputy. And shortly earlier than midnight, a 3rd assertion mentioned Austin had been admitted to the vital care unit at Walter Reed.

The speedy technique of notification stands in marked distinction to Austin’s earlier hospitalization. It took days for Austin’s workplace to inform senior administration officers, together with Biden, that the protection secretary was within the hospital, and it took even longer to tell officers of Austin’s analysis with prostate most cancers.

Biden mentioned in January that Austin had a lapse in judgement in not notifying the commander in chief in regards to the analysis. Austin, in his first information convention after his preliminary hospitalization, mentioned he instantly apologized to the president and was “deeply sorry” for not letting him know.

A 30-day evaluation of the notification course of was accomplished final week, however the Pentagon mentioned most of it was labeled. Austin mentioned throughout his information convention that the Pentagon would share “as a lot as doable as quickly as doable.”

This story has been up to date with further particulars.


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