The Pentagon announced in a statement that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was transferred to critical care on Sunday night following his admission to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center earlier in the day for a bladder issue.
The latest development adds to a health controversy that commenced last month concerning the Cabinet official’s clandestine hospitalization subsequent to a prostate cancer treatment procedure due to complications.
Austin, aged 70, encountered criticism earlier this year subsequent to the disclosure that he had been admitted to the hospital on January 1 due to complications arising from a prostate cancer procedure and had delegated certain responsibilities to a deputy without notifying high-ranking officials in the Biden administration or Congress.
As additional information surfaced, some critics, including Republican legislators and former President Donald Trump, demanded Austin’s removal from office.
Notably, Austin had concealed his cancer diagnosis until the news broke.
The White House issued new guidelines for Cabinet secretaries to improve transparency regulations regarding the delegation of authority to subordinates in response to multiple investigations.
After being discharged from the hospital on January 15, Austin resumed his responsibilities remotely, according to the Department of Defense.
Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder additional confirmed in another status that the Secretary has already transferred his authority and responsibilities to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks.