US Defense Secretary Austin, battling cancer, discharged from hospital

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. (Photo/AP Archive)

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin was released from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, ending his second stay since surgery to treat prostate cancer, and he has resumed his full duties, the Pentagon said.

Austin, 70, has had ongoing health issues since undergoing surgery in December. He was taken back to Walter Reed on Sunday for a bladder issue and admitted to intensive care for a second time.

He underwent a non-surgical procedure under general anesthesia on Monday. Austin’s doctors said on Tuesday that his bladder issue was related to the surgery.

"The bladder issue was not related to his cancer diagnosis and will have no effect on his excellent cancer prognosis," Dr. John Maddox, trauma medical director, and Dr. Gregory Chesnut, director of the Center for Prostate Disease Research at the Murtha Cancer Center, said in a statement.

"Full access to unclassified and classified communications"

On their advice, Austin will work from home before returning to the Pentagon later this week. His home has "full access to the unclassified and classified communications systems necessary to perform his duties," the Pentagon said in a statement.

Austin is expected to host a virtual meeting on Wednesday of about 50 countries that meet monthly to coordinate military aid for Ukraine. He had been scheduled to travel to Brussels on Tuesday for that Ukraine meeting, followed by a quarterly meeting with NATO defence ministers on Thursday. The US ambassador to NATO, Julie Smith, will represent Austin in Brussels instead.

Austin has been hospitalised twice this year following a December surgery to treat prostate cancer. He had failed to disclose his surgery to the White House as well as a subsequent hospitalisation in January to deal with its complications, triggering a political uproar.


Source: TRT