Increasing demands for the dismissal of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin put pressure on Biden: White House pressed to clarify how the prolonged hospitalization of the Pentagon chief went unnoticed

Growing Calls for Austin’s Removal

President Joe Biden is facing increasing pressure to dismiss Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin as new revelations emerge about his recent hospitalization.

Lawmakers from both parties are questioning how both Biden and senior Pentagon officials were kept unaware of Austin’s hospital stay.

Former President Donald Trump has called for Austin’s immediate firing, accusing him of a ‘dereliction of duty.’

Republican Representative Elise Stefanik of New York also joined the chorus, demanding Austin’s resignation and a congressional investigation.

Secrecy Surrounding Austin’s Hospitalization

The Pentagon released new details about Austin’s health, stating that he underwent a medical procedure on December 22, was admitted to intensive care on January 1 due to severe pain, and remains hospitalized.

However, the nature of the original medical procedure remains undisclosed.

Astonishingly, National Security Council and Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks were only informed of Austin’s hospitalization on January 4, with the excuse that Austin’s chief of staff was unavailable before then.

Outrage and Calls for Accountability

The secrecy surrounding Austin’s hospitalization has sparked outrage from members of both political parties, with concerns about a potential cover-up.

Representative Elise Stefanik and Senators Mike Rogers and Adam Smith expressed worries about the lack of transparency.

Questions linger about the delay in notifying President Biden and Congress, the nature of the medical procedure, and the current health status of Secretary Austin.
Calls for accountability and transparency are intensifying.

Bipartisan Concerns and Demand for Hearings

Senator Roger Wicker, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, deemed the withholding of Austin’s medical condition unacceptable.

He demanded a hearing into the matter and criticized the Department of Defense for deliberately keeping Austin’s condition a secret.

Former President Trump also voiced his anger, accusing Austin of ‘improper professional conduct’ and ‘dereliction of duty.’

The demand for hearings suggests potential repercussions for Austin if he does not resign.

Biden’s Relationship with Austin

President Biden’s relationship with Austin dates back to when Biden served as vice president, and Austin led Iraq policy for the Obama administration.

Austin’s connection with Beau Biden during their time in Iraq was highlighted, emphasizing their shared devotion to Catholicism.

Despite growing calls for Austin’s removal, the White House has maintained confidence in the defense secretary.

Pentagon’s Lack of Transparency and National Security Implications

The Pentagon’s failure to promptly disclose Austin’s hospitalization, especially during a time of escalating national security challenges, raises concerns about transparency.

Austin, as the second-highest-ranking official in the U.S. military, is expected to be readily available to respond to crises.

The lack of transparency surrounding his illness and hospitalization is at odds with normal procedures for notifying senior officials and the president.

Austin’s Responsibility and Pledge for Improvement

In a statement, Secretary Austin acknowledged the lapses in informing the public and took responsibility for the delays.

He committed to better communication in the future but provided no additional details about his health.

While he expressed optimism about returning to the Pentagon soon, the statement did little to address the lingering questions about the circumstances of his hospitalization and the undisclosed medical procedure.

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