The Pentagon adds new details about Austin's secretive hospital stay and the delay in telling Biden

United States Mideast (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.) Evening Headlines Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin remained in the hospital Sunday as more details emerged about key decision-makers, even President Joe Biden , being kept in the dark for days that the Pentagon chief had been in the intensive care unit at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The Pentagon’s failure to disclose Austin’s hospitalization reflects a stunning lack of transparency about his illness, how serious it was and when he may be released. Such secrecy, at a time when the United States is juggling myriad national security crises, runs counter to normal practice with the president and other senior U.S. officials and Cabinet members. A senior defense official said Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks was not notified until Thursday that Austin had been hospitalized since Jan. 1. Once notified, Hicks began preparing statements to send to Congress and made plans to return to Washington, the official said. Hicks was in Puerto Rico on leave but had communications equipment with her to remain in contact and had already been tasked with some secretary-level duties on Tuesday. The Pentagon did not say if Hicks was given an explanation on Tuesday for why she was assuming some of Austin’s duties, but temporary transfers of authority are not unusual and the official said it is not uncommon for authorities to be transferred without a detailed explanation. Hicks decided not to return after she was informed that Austin would resume full control on Friday. The official was not authorized to provide details of the transfer of authority and spoke on condition of anonymity. Biden also was not told of Austin’s hospitalization until he was informed on Thursday by his national security adviser, Jake Sullivan. That’s according to three people with knowledge of […]

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Click here to visit source. The Pentagon adds new details about Austin’s secretive hospital stay and the delay in telling Biden

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