The US Department of Defense will launch an independent investigation into the cases of Pentagon Chief Lloyd Austin, who was suffering from prostate cancer, being secretly hospitalized for a long time, according to an internal memo published Thursday.
The purpose of this review is to examine the processes, procedures, responsibilities, actions and roles related to the Secretary of Defense's admission to hospital in December 2023 and January 2024.which is specified in the text.
Lloyd Austin, 70, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in early December. He had surgery on December 22, went home the next day, and was hospitalized again as of December 1.any January due to complications including nausea and severe pain.
The White House was not informed of his hospitalization until last Thursday. Congress learned of the situation on Friday, and President Joe Biden was not informed of the diagnosis until this week.
This situation caused a great uproar and calls for the dismissal or resignation of Lloyd Austin multiplied, which constituted a real thorn in the side of the head of state in the middle of an election year.
The Pentagon's investigation, which will be led by an independent inspector general, is also expected to evaluate whether current procedures within the Defense Department are sound.
Adequate to ensure timely and appropriate notifications and effective transfer of authority in the event of illness or unavailability of senior officialsaccording to the memo.
This controversy comes at a time when the world's leading military power is embroiled in several major conflicts, from Ukraine to the Middle East.
By supporting Kiev against Russia and Israel against Palestinian Hamas, Washington, whose forces are regularly under attack in Iraq and Syria, is mobilizing its international partners against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, who threaten shipping in the Red Sea.
The White House admitted that these secret hospitalizations were not so
If the president maintains his position
trust Regarding the Secretary of Defense, according to his spokesman, the White House also ordered a review of the rules applied in the event of the incapacity of senior officials.
Republican elected officials have called for Lloyd Austin's departure, including former President Donald Trump, Joe Biden's potential rival in November's presidential election.
Republican senators held a press conference on Thursday to protest the person in question's management of his medical condition.
When the Minister of Defense is in such pain that he has to leave his residence in an ambulance and be taken to hospital to be placed in the intensive care unit, these are not minor details.It was launched by Roger Wicker, ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
An aerial view of the Pentagon in Arlington, near Washington. (archive photo)
Photograph: Reuters/Joshua Roberts
This was an event of such seriousness, scale and magnitude that key members of the Ministry of Defense, including his deputy, should have informed him.
Like others, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks did not learn of the Pentagon chief's second hospitalization until three days later, even though some of her responsibilities had been conveyed to her in advance.
America deserves answers nowThe senator continued.
Unease among Democrats
Several Democrats also expressed their discomfort with the situation, but only one of them called on the secretary to leave his position.
While Lloyd Austin remains hospitalized, he remains in contact with his teams and stays informed of operations, according to the Pentagon.
Republican Senator Rick Scott welcomed the opening of investigations, but demanded more comprehensive clarifications.
I am happy […] Investigation, but I think so [quelqu’un du] The Pentagon needs to come here now and tell us exactly what happened. Anyone who makes a mistake must be held accountable.
Joe Biden has long been reluctant to fire senior officials to avoid recurring reshuffles and crises as happened under Trump.
He has particularly clung to his national security adviser Jake Sullivan despite the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021, with the Taliban seizing Kabul.
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