US Defense Secretary Austin taken to hospital for 'symptoms suggesting emergent bladder issue' – Pentagon

(Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was taken to a Washington, D.C. hospital on Sunday for treatment of “symptoms suggesting an emergent bladder issue”, a Pentagon spokesman said.

Austin, 70, was retaining his duties during his hospitalization, Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a written statement.

Austin was criticized last month for failing to disclose a cancer diagnosis and subsequent hospitalizations in December and January, including to President Joe Biden. He apologized during a televised news briefing.

He is scheduled to testify before Congress on Feb. 29 about the situation.

The incident triggered a political uproar. Some prominent Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, called for Austin to be removed from his job. Austin is a retired four-star general who led forces in Iraq and is America’s first Black defense secretary.

Biden, a Democrat, has said he has confidence in Austin despite what the president agreed was a lapse in judgment.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Don Durfee)

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