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Pentagon Review of Lloyd Austin’s Hospitalization Finds No “Ill Intent” in Non-Disclosure but Identifies Areas for Process Improvement

Credits: theSkimm

An internal review of the procedures during Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s hospitalization in January found areas for improvement but no evidence of wrongdoing, according to an unclassified summary from the Pentagon. The summary cites the “unprecedented situation” and Austin’s medical privacy as reasons for limited information sharing.

Austin has instructed that the review’s recommendations be implemented, including guidance for a smooth transfer of authority if needed. The review was conducted after Austin’s hospitalization for a bladder issue following prostate cancer surgery.

The review was initiated by Austin’s chief of staff, Kelly Magsamen, who tasked the Defense Department’s administration and management director with a 30-day review.

Pentagon Review of Lloyd Austin’s Condition (Credits: HuffPost)

The summary, three pages long, states that the delay in notifying Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks and the White House was due to the need to respect Austin’s medical privacy. The delay in notifying Congress and the public was also acknowledged.

The review summary indicates that once Austin was moved to critical care, his military assistants recognized the need for a “transfer of authority” to Hicks, which was carried out on Jan. 2.

Austin was hospitalized on Jan. 1, but Hicks and the White House were not informed until Jan. 4. Congress and the public were notified on Jan. 5.

The Pentagon faced criticism for the delay in notifications, with Austin taking responsibility and apologizing upon his return to work.

He acknowledged that he should have informed the president, his team, and the public about his cancer diagnosis. Austin is set to testify before the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday regarding his hospitalization.

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