KEY POINTS
  • Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been hospitalized since Jan. 1 for complications following surgery to treat prostate cancer, officials at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center said.
  • White House officials were not immediately informed of Austin's emergency hospitalization, the cause of which had been previously undisclosed.
  • Austin's lack of transparency about his medical status alarmed members of Congress, some of whom have called on him to resign.
  • President Joe Biden is standing by Austin, according to the White House.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks during a meeting with Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles and British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace at the Pentagon in Washington, U.S., December 7, 2022. 

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was hospitalized on Jan. 1 for complications following surgery nearly two weeks earlier to treat prostate cancer, doctors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center revealed Tuesday.

The disclosure of Austin's diagnosis and cause of his hospitalization came amid controversy over the Pentagon's failure for days to inform the White House or the public that the Defense secretary had been admitted to Walter Reed, where he ended up in the intensive care unit.