Alberto Pizzoli/AFP by way of Getty Photos
Walter Reed Nationwide Army Medical Middle mentioned in a press release that Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin was handled for prostate most cancers that was found final month, and issues from the process led to his hospitalization on New Yr’s Day.
The assertion — from Dr. John Maddox, medical director of trauma, and Dr. Gregory Chesnutt, MD, director of the Murtha Most cancers Middle at Walter Reed — is the primary indication as to why Austin was hospitalized on New Yr’s Day. Nonetheless, it nonetheless doesn’t reply questions on why nobody – neither the President nor Congress nor Rep. Austin himself – was stored at the hours of darkness about his whereabouts or situation.
New guidelines for cupboard members
The secrecy surrounding Austin’s hospitalization prompted the White Home to take a more in-depth take a look at the foundations for Cupboard members, in response to a memo obtained by NPR.
President Biden’s chief of workers Jeff Zients on Tuesday instructed Cupboard secretaries in a memo that he was reviewing guidelines for a way Cupboard members delegate their authority when they’re hospitalized, underneath sedation, touring to locations with restricted entry to communications, or in any other case unable to speak. mechanism.
Zients ordered Cupboard members to submit their present protocols in writing for assessment by Friday — and likewise burdened that they should hold the White Home knowledgeable of potential cases during which they should delegate authority.
Calendar of occasions
Walter Reed’s assertion offered a timeline of occasions that led to Austin’s hospitalization. She mentioned Austin underwent common prostate-specific antigen (PSA) monitoring as a part of a routinely advisable well being checkup. Prostate most cancers, the most typical reason for most cancers amongst American males, impacts 1 in 8 males and 1 in 6 black males throughout their lifetime.
“Modifications in his laboratory analysis in early December 2023 recognized prostate most cancers that required therapy,” the assertion mentioned. “On December 22, 2023, after session together with his medical crew, he was admitted to Walter Reed Nationwide Army Medical Middle and underwent a minimally invasive surgical procedure known as a prostatectomy to deal with and remedy prostate most cancers.”
Austin was underneath common anesthesia throughout this process. He recovered from the surgical procedure and returned dwelling the subsequent morning, the assertion mentioned, including: “His prostate most cancers was detected early, and the prognosis is superb.”
However on January 1, Austin was admitted to Walter Reed Hospital because of issues from the process carried out on December 22, together with nausea together with extreme stomach, hip and leg ache. The assertion mentioned that the preliminary analysis revealed a urinary tract an infection.
The following day, Austin was transferred to the intensive care unit, the place it was discovered that he was affected by fluid accumulations within the stomach, which weakened the perform of the small gut, in response to the assertion.
“This led to his intestinal contents backing up and he was handled by putting a tube by way of his nostril to empty his abdomen. The stomach fluid collections had been drained by a non-surgical drainage technique,” the assertion mentioned. “He has progressed steadily all through his keep. The an infection has resolved. He continues to make progress and we anticipate a full restoration though this course of will be gradual. Throughout this keep, Secretary Austin by no means misplaced consciousness and was by no means underneath common anesthesia.”
Austin stays within the hospital regardless of returning to full duties.
The secrecy surrounding the hospital
Kathleen Hicks, Deputy Secretary of Protection, assumed the highest function on Tuesday, January 2, an uncommon switch of energy that typically happens for purely operational causes. The official, who was not licensed to talk publicly, mentioned she didn’t study that Austin had been hospitalized till Thursday. Hicks was on trip in Puerto Rico on the time.
When Hicks discovered of Austin’s hospitalization, she “instantly engaged workers in drafting a public assertion and reaching out to Congress. She additionally started making contingency plans to return to Washington, D.C., on Friday. Nonetheless, she was knowledgeable that afternoon that the secretary “we’re getting ready “To renew full communications functionality and related operational duties on Friday.”
Pentagon officers didn’t make a public announcement about Austin’s hospitalization till final Friday. The secrecy contrasts with the standard observe between the president and Cupboard members, who typically present discover when they may go away their official duties.
“I’m very glad that I’m on the mend and sit up for returning to the Pentagon quickly,” Austin mentioned in a press release issued Saturday night. “I additionally perceive the media’s considerations about transparency and acknowledge that I may have carried out a greater job of guaranteeing the general public.” “I used to be knowledgeable appropriately. I’m dedicated to doing higher. However it is very important say: This was my medical process, and I take full accountability for my choices about disclosure.”
White Home press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre mentioned Monday that President Biden nonetheless has “full confidence” in Austin’s management regardless of some Republicans. He demands that he resign On account of lack of communication.