US Lawmakers Grill Defense Secretary For Secret Hospital Stays

Lawmakers from both parties grilled the US defense secretary for failing to inform the White House about his secret hospital stays.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was pressed by lawmakers, with one of them referring to the secretary’s absence as an “embarrassment”.

Lawmakers Grill Austin

The Pentagon chief acknowledged that there was a breakdown of notification when he was admitted to the hospital for his prostate cancer treatment.

Representative Mike Rogers said while the US was waging two crucial wars in Europe and the Middle East, “the commander in chief (Biden) did not know that his secretary of defense was out of action”.

Republican Nancy Mace asked Austin what happens to a soldier when he goes AWOL.

Austin said he wouldn’t compare his hospital stay to a soldier getting awol.

Republican Congressman Jim Banks remarked that Austin’s absence embarrassed the US.

For context, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was secretly hospitalized on 5 January without notifying the President.

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