US defence secretary Lloyd Austin to undergo medical procedure

24 May 2024, 21:04

US Kenya
US Kenya. Picture: PA

He will transfer power temporarily to his deputy, officials said.

US defence secretary Lloyd Austin will undergo a medical procedure on Friday evening and will transfer power temporarily to his deputy as he continues to deal with bladder issues that arose in December following his treatment for prostate cancer, officials said.

Major general Pat Ryder said in a statement the procedure would take place at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre.

The procedure is elective and minimally invasive, “is not related to his cancer diagnosis and has had no effect on his excellent cancer prognosis” Mr Ryder said.

Mr Austin will transfer authority to deputy secretary of defence Kathleen Hicks while he is indisposed, the Pentagon said.

Mr Austin, 70, has had ongoing health issues since undergoing surgery to address a prostate cancer diagnosis.

He spent two weeks in the hospital following complications from a prostatectomy.

Mr Austin faced criticism at the time for not immediately informing the president or Congress of either his diagnosis or hospital admission.

Mr Austin was taken back to Walter Reed in February for a bladder issue, admitted to intensive care for a second time and underwent a non-surgical procedure under general anaesthesia at the time.

The Pentagon has notified the White House and Congress, Mr Ryder said.

By Press Association

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