(RightIsRight.co) – A significant scandal in the U.S. Defense Department has come to light: the Secretary of Defense, aged 70, was hospitalized for nearly a week at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
However, this information was not immediately disclosed to Congress, the press, or even the president.
In a statement on Friday, Pentagon spokesman Major General Patrick Ryder announced that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was recovering well and expected to resume his full duties.
During Austin’s hospitalization, the Deputy Secretary of Defense was ready to assume his duties if necessary, as per the official statement.
However, the Pentagon has been reticent about whether Austin was in critical condition or unconscious at any point during his five-day stay in the hospital.
Ryder, responding to inquiries, attributed the delay in disclosure to the situation’s evolving nature and the need to consider medical and personal privacy issues. He mentioned that congressional notifications were made later in the afternoon.
The Pentagon Press Association has criticized the Department of Defense for its lack of communication regarding Secretary Austin’s health and status.
The association, representing journalists, argued that the public deserves to know when U.S. Cabinet members are hospitalized or under anesthesia, especially when their duties are delegated due to medical procedures.
This standard of disclosure is customary for senior officials across federal departments, extending up to the president.
The association emphasized the importance of transparency in light of ongoing military threats in the Middle East and the significant roles the U.S. plays in conflicts in Ukraine and Israel.
They insisted that the American public needs to be informed about the health and decision-making capacity of its top defense leader, especially during such critical times.