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President Biden Kept in Dark About Defense Secretary Austin’s Hospitalization

President Biden didn’t know for days that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had been in the hospital, a report says.

Biden, who is 81 years old, was told by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Thursday afternoon. This was after Austin had been in the hospital since Monday, January 1. Austin went to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center because of problems after a small elective surgery. There were no more details about what happened to him.

The public didn’t find out that one of the top officials in the country was in the hospital until Friday. That’s when Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, who speaks for the Pentagon, told everyone.

On Saturday, Austin said in a statement that he’s getting better and plans to go back to the Pentagon soon. He also said he understands why people are upset about not knowing sooner and promises to do better.

President Biden Kept in Dark About Defense Secretary Austin's Hospitalization

President Biden didn’t know for days that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had been in the hospital

It’s not known when Austin, who spent 41 years in the military and is a retired four-star Army general, will leave the hospital.

Ryder told reporters on Friday that there were many things to think about before telling the public about Austin’s hospital stay. He mentioned medical and privacy concerns.

The Pentagon Press Association criticized the decision to keep Austin’s hospital stay secret. They wrote a letter to Ryder and another Pentagon official, calling it an “outrage” that the public wasn’t told until late on a Friday.

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