Feb 13, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin released from hospital

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon on February 1, 2024 in Arlington, Virginia.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, earlier this month. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was released from the hospital on Tuesday after being treated for a bladder issue.

The big picture: Austin was admitted to Walter Reed Medical Center on Sunday "with discomfort and concern from a bladder issue related to his December 2023 prostate cancer surgery," per a Tuesday evening statement from doctors at the hospital.

  • He transferred duties to Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks while he was treated in the critical care unit, where doctors said a "diagnostic evaluation identified the cause of his bladder issue."
  • This was corrected with non-surgical procedures on Monday, according to the statement.

Zoom out: Austin is due to testify before Congress after initial secrecy surrounding his January hospitalization due to complications from prostate cancer treatment was criticized by lawmakers from both parties.

What's next: "On the advice of his doctors, Secretary Austin will recuperate and perform his duties remotely from home for a period before returning to work at the Pentagon later this week," per a Defense Department statement.

  • He's scheduled to deliver opening remarks on Wednesday at a virtual meeting of defense officials from nearly 50 nations to discuss Russia's war on Ukraine.

Go deeper: Defense Secretary Austin admits "we fell short" on hospitalization

Go deeper