Washington (diplomat.so) — U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been hospitalized for an "emergent bladder issue," confirmed by the Pentagon on Sunday.
According to Pentagon spokesperson Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, Austin, accompanied by his security detail, was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at 2:20 p.m. Ryder assured that Austin continues to fulfill his duties, with Deputy Secretary Kathleen Hicks on standby if needed.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, the White House, and select Congress members have been informed of Austin's hospitalization.
Austin, who established the Ukraine contact group in 2022 to coordinate military support after Russia's invasion, was set to attend meetings in Brussels regarding Ukraine and NATO. It remains uncertain if his hospitalization will affect these plans.
Previously diagnosed with prostate cancer, Austin underwent treatment in December, with no further procedures expected as per his doctors.
This marks Austin's first unscheduled hospital visit due to complications from his cancer treatment. His previous secrecy regarding his diagnosis and hospitalization has sparked investigations.