“Defense Secretary’s Hospitalization Raises Transparency Concerns in Biden Administration”

President Joe Biden was not aware for days that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was hospitalized, a source familiar with the matter told CNN.

The CNN article reports that President Joe Biden was unaware for several days that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin had been hospitalized due to complications from elective surgery on New Year’s Day. National security adviser Jake Sullivan informed Biden late Thursday afternoon, five days after Austin’s admission to the hospital. Austin issued a statement on Saturday, expressing gratitude for the medical staff’s care at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, acknowledging concerns about transparency, and committing to improved communication. Despite participating in a national security call with Biden on the day of his hospitalization, Austin’s condition and the delay in notifying the White House raised concerns among senior administration officials. Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks temporarily assumed Austin’s duties while he was hospitalized, but Austin has since resumed full responsibilities. The White House affirmed Biden’s confidence in Austin and expressed anticipation for his return to the Pentagon. Congressional oversight committees were reportedly not informed of Austin’s hospitalization until Friday night.

In summary, the article highlights the delayed communication to President Biden regarding Secretary Austin’s hospitalization, prompting concerns about transparency and protocol within the administration.

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