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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin released from hospital 2 weeks after complications from cancer treatment

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin testifying at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill October 31, 2023 in Washington, DC.Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was discharged Monday after treatment for post-surgery complications.

  • Austin had been in the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for two weeks.

  • He hadn't quickly notified the White House about his cancer diagnosis, sparking controversy.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was released from the hospital on Monday following treatment for complications related to a recent prostate cancer surgery.

Austin was admitted to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on January 1 and was moved to the ICU on January 2 due to an infection after the surgery. His hospitalization was not announced until January 5.

Austin's health sparked controversy in Washington, DC, following reports that his hospitalization was not disclosed to the White House or Congress in a timely manner. President Joe Biden said that while Austin had a lapse in judgment in failing to disclose the health issues, he still had confidence in his ability to perform his military responsibilities.

"Secretary Austin progressed well throughout his stay and his strength is rebounding," Dr. John Maddox of Walter Reed said in a statement on Monday. "He underwent a series of medical tests and evaluations and received non-surgical care during his stay to address his medical needs, to include resolving some lingering leg pains."

Maddox said that Austin's prostate cancer was treated "early and effectively, and his prognosis is excellent."

Austin will work remotely "for a period of time" before he returns full-time to the Pentagon, according to the statement.

"As I continue to recuperate and perform my duties from home, I'm eager to fully recover and return as quickly as possible to the Pentagon," Austin said in a statement.

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