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The Pentagon launches an investigation into its boss's secret treatment

The Pentagon launches an investigation into its boss's secret treatment

The Pentagon will begin an independent investigation into two secret hospitalizations of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who is suffering from prostate cancer, according to an internal memo released Thursday.

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“The purpose of this review is to examine the roles, processes, procedures, responsibilities and actions related to the Secretary of Defense’s hospitalization between December 2023 and January 2024,” it states in the text.

Lloyd Austin, 70, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in early December. He underwent surgery on December 22, under general anesthesia, and was hospitalized again from January 1 due to complications.

This diagnosis and the two hospitalizations were only reported to the highest authorities in the country, starting with Democratic President Joe Biden, in recent days, which sparked anger in the press and among Republicans, in the middle of an election year.

The Pentagon investigation, which will be led by an independent inspector general, is also expected to evaluate whether current procedures within the Department of Defense are “adequate to ensure timely and appropriate notifications and effective transfer of authority in the event of illness.” “A senior official,” according to the internal memo.

This controversy, extremely embarrassing for the head of state, comes at a time when the world's leading military power is involved in several major conflicts, from Ukraine to the Middle East.

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If the White House acknowledges that this situation is “not ideal,” the president has maintained his “confidence” in his secretary, according to his spokesmen.

However, the White House also ordered a review of the rules applied in the event of incapacitation of senior officials.