White House Orders Protocols Review After Austin Was MIA For Prostate Cancer Surgery Complications

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Jan 09, 2024 - 08:39 PM

Finally, after days of public backlash coming from Congressional leaders as well as former Department of Defense officials, the White House is initiating a "review" of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's secret hospitalization fiasco

Answers are being sought as to just how and why it took nearly four days for the White House, including President Biden and even the Pentagon #2, to be informed that the Pentagon chief was out of commission. The situation has risen to the level of persistent calls for Austin's resignation, but there's no indication this is the plan, especially after Biden on Monday expressed "full confidence" in his appointed defense chief. And as of a Tuesday afternoon briefing:


Via AP

White House chief of staff Jeff Zients has launched a review of Cabinet protocols when it comes to delegating authority. A memo sent to all Cabinet secretaries directs departments and agencies to "submit your existing protocols for a delegation of authority" for review by Jan. 12, according to Axios, which has obtained the memo. 

Since the scandal of his absence was revealed (at a moment the Pentagon is involved in several flashpoints from Ukraine to Gaza to the Red Sea), it's been revealed he was for a time in the intensive care unit at Walter Reed medical center.

A statement from the hospital has specified, "On January 1st, 2024, Secretary Austin was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center with complications from the December 22 procedure, including nausea with severe abdominal, hip, and leg pain. Initial evaluation revealed a urinary tract infection. On January 2, the decision was made to transfer him to the ICU for close monitoring and a higher level of care."

The initial surgery was for prostate cancer. Concerning the readmittance, the Walter Reed statement noted, "During this stay, Secretary Austin never lost consciousness and never underwent general anesthesia."

The Zients memo lays out the following Cabinet protocols to be reviewed and scrutinized: 

  • Delegation criteria
  • Decision-making authority
  • Applicable documentation
  • Notification procedures
  • Rescission of delegation

Making matters worse, while Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks is said to have been tasked with "some duties" during Austin's absence - it remains that she was on vacation and didn't so much as know that her boss was out of commission.

Several Iran-backed militant attacks on US bases in Syria and Iraq happened last week while there was no one at the help of the Defense Department: "Nine since Jan.4"...

And he's actually still in the hospital, and is said to be working from his hospital bed. Austin "has received operational updates and has provided necessary guidance to his team" since resuming duties on Friday evening.

"While we do not have a specific date for his release at this time, we will continue to provide updates on the Secretary's status as they become available," Ryder added.