On Monday, the Pentagon provided additional details about the incident.
The hospitalization of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin caused by
Following inquiries about the lack of knowledge by President Biden, Congress, and the general public regarding Austin’s hospitalization, which occurred over a period of several days.
According to Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Patrick Ryder, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks and the White House were not aware of Austin’s hospitalization until Jan. 4. This information was relayed to them by Austin’s chief of staff on Jan. 2.
Ryder explained that the reason for the delay was partly because Austin’s chief of staff, Kelly Magsamen, was ill with the flu.
The first public statement announces that Austin has been in the hospital since January 1st.
On January 5th, Austin returns to work full-time in the evening after being at Walter Reed. (Statement from Ryder on January 7th)
On January 6th, Austin issued a statement acknowledging accountability for the delayed release of information.
On January 6th, Mr. Biden and Austin had a conversation where the president expressed his complete trust in Austin, according to a U.S. official on January 8th.
The White House and Pentagon are currently evaluating their methods of notifying others, as announced by Ryder and Kirby on Monday. Ryder also took responsibility for not advocating for the earlier release of information to the public.
On Monday, Ryder stated that they are reviewing processes and procedures to enhance them, including notifications to the White House and Congress. They acknowledge the need for improvement and are committed to making it happen.
This report was contributed to by Arden Farhi, Alan He, David Martin, Weijia Jiang, Kristen Brown, and Bo Erickson.