(RepublicanPress.org) – On January 15, the US Department of Defense announced that Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III had been released from the hospital following tests related to his previous prostate cancer treatment, deemed successful. That was great news, but it wasn’t the beginning of the story. Austin went to the hospital on January 1 for complications from his cancer treatment in December, and nobody — including the president — knew about it until days later.
On February 1, the defense secretary addressed the public during a Pentagon press conference to discuss why he kept his medical condition a secret. Austin admitted he didn’t “handle this right” and should have informed everyone right away. The official said he should have told at least President Joe Biden “about [his] cancer diagnosis” in addition to the public and his team.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin apologized for keeping his recent hospitalization hidden from the White House and the American people. https://t.co/fklMaG7E5C
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) February 1, 2024
Austin took full responsibility for the secret but stated he didn’t direct anyone to keep the news under wraps. He realizes now that taking his position in the government means losing privacy. Austin also made it clear there were “no gaps in authorities” during the ordeal. He reportedly apologized to the president in private.
The defense secretary said he was thrown back by his diagnosis, and it was pure instinct to keep the news to himself, adding he is a “pretty private guy” naturally. Austin said not only is a cancer diagnosis a private matter, he said that’s especially true in the Black community. Speaking directly to all the men listening, he urged them to get “regular checkups,” especially as they age. He said the earlier prostate cancer is caught, the better the odds of beating it.
While Austin was dealing with the devastating news and subsequent treatment to stay alive, several Republicans called for his resignation because of the secrecy component. However, there is no indication the defense secretary plans to step down, and POLITICO reported that Biden not only wouldn’t be firing Austin but wouldn’t accept his resignation — even if offered.
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