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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Makes First Public Appearance After Hospitalization

via PBS
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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made his first public appearance after being hospitalized for complications from prostate cancer surgery.

He participated in a virtual meeting to discuss support for Ukraine from his home, where he has been recovering since his release from the hospital.

Austin said, “As you can tell, I’m joining from home today. I’m feeling good and looking forward to being back at the Pentagon very soon. And I’m grateful for all of your warm wishes.”

Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh previously said, “Since he’s still at his residence, we won’t have a joint press confer- — or at this moment, right now, won’t have a joint press conference with the secretary and the chairman.”

“He’s well enough to take part in the meeting. We’re working on when he returns back to the building to get him here in — in front of you in the [Pentagon Briefing Room],” explained Singh.

The Pentagon did not inform President Biden and other top officials of his hospitalization until several days after the fact, prompting investigations and calls for Austin’s resignation from members of Congress.

Despite this, President Biden has expressed full confidence in Austin, and the Pentagon stated that he has no plans to resign.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers wrote, “Unfortunately, this leads me to believe that information is being withheld from Congress.”

“Your unwillingness to provide candid and complete answers necessitates calling a Full Committee hearing on February 14, 2024, where the Committee expects to hear your direct testimony regarding decisions made to withhold information from the President, Congress, and the American people,” continued Rogers.

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