(DailyVantage.com) – Pentagon officials are criticizing Lloyd Austin, President Joe Biden’s defense secretary, for his decision to keep his recent hospitalization and subsequent cancer diagnosis a secret from Biden and other members of Biden’s cabinet. While discussing the incident, one Pentagon official claimed that Austin acted recklessly by keeping his cancer diagnosis a secret. According to the unnamed official, Austin should have disclosed his diagnosis to Biden rather than kept it secret from the president. Austin’s abrupt hospitalization made national headlines, as the White House staff weren’t aware of the incident until days after Austin initially entered the medical facility.
Austin initially entered the Walter Reed Medical Center intensive care unit on January 1 for pain following a medical procedure, but the White House didn’t learn about hospitalization for approximately two days. After the story made national headlines, media outlets began reporting that Austin received a cancer diagnosis shortly before his hospitalization. A doctor diagnosed Austin with prostate cancer in December 2023, and the defense secretary had a procedure done to combat the cancer days later. Austin’s latest hospitalization stems from pain resulting from the medical procedure known as a prostatectomy, which helps cure patients who have prostate cancer.
Despite some Pentagon officials’ criticisms of Austin’s decision to keep the cancer diagnosis a secret, others are defending Austin. One Pentagon official said that they don’t believe Austin intentionally hid his hospitalization and cancer diagnosis from his fellow cabinet members, blaming the lack of disclosure on certain people failing to communicate between Austin’s office and the White House. Although some Pentagon employees defended Austin, a former member of the Department of Defense claims that Austin’s chief of staff is known for consistent communication and should’ve disclosed the hospitalization and diagnosis sooner.
One official affiliated with the Biden administration echoed the criticisms of Austin, claiming that Austin’s staff either accommodated his decision to keep secrets from the White House or failed to do their jobs effectively by communicating with the Biden administration. The official also said that Austin’s staff aren’t adequately advising him and that Austin’s employees forgot they “really work for the president.” Another official from the Department of Defense provided similar criticisms, stating that Austin’s desire for privacy doesn’t outweigh his duties to the White House and the United States.
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