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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will undergo a medical procedure at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Friday evening, due to ongoing bladder issues that arose in December following treatment for prostate cancer. The procedure is elective and minimally invasive, and is not related to his cancer diagnosis, with no effect on his excellent cancer prognosis. Austin, 70, will transfer power temporarily to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks while he recovers. He has faced criticism in the past for not immediately informing the president or Congress of his health issues.

Austin has had ongoing health problems since undergoing surgery for prostate cancer, which led to complications and a two-week hospitalization. In February, he was admitted to the hospital again for a bladder issue and underwent a non-surgical procedure under general anesthesia. The Pentagon has notified the White House and Congress of Austin’s upcoming medical procedure and temporary transfer of power. The press secretary emphasized that this situation is not related to Austin’s cancer diagnosis and should not impact his prognosis for recovery.

This latest development raises concerns about the health of a key member of the Biden administration’s national security team. Austin’s health issues have caused him to undergo multiple medical procedures and hospitalizations over the past several months. The Pentagon is working to ensure a smooth transition of power to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks while Austin is indisposed. It is unclear how long Austin’s recovery will take, and updates on his condition are expected as this situation continues to develop.

With the transfer of power to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, the Pentagon is aiming to ensure that all necessary decision-making and operations continue without interruption. As Austin undergoes his medical procedure and recovery, Hicks will be responsible for overseeing the Department of Defense’s activities. Austin’s health issues have been a cause for concern in the past, and this temporary transfer of power is a precautionary measure to ensure that the Pentagon can continue to function effectively in his absence. The Pentagon has assured that all necessary parties have been informed of the situation.

As a key member of the Biden administration’s national security team, Austin’s health issues have raised questions about the impact on U.S. defense operations and decision-making. The transfer of power to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks is meant to ensure continuity and stability within the Department of Defense during Austin’s absence. This situation highlights the importance of having clear protocols in place for temporary leadership transitions in cases of unexpected health issues or other emergencies. The Pentagon is working to provide updates on Austin’s condition and recovery as more information becomes available.

The Pentagon has emphasized that Austin’s upcoming medical procedure is elective and unrelated to his cancer diagnosis. While facing criticism in the past for not immediately disclosing his health issues to the president and Congress, Austin is now taking proactive steps to address his ongoing health problems. With Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks assuming temporary authority, the Pentagon is working to maintain normal operations during Austin’s recovery. This situation underscores the challenges that can arise when key government officials face health issues, and the need for clear communication and contingency plans in such circumstances. Updates on Austin’s condition and recovery are expected as this story continues to unfold.

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