The White House will review Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s lack of disclosure on his hospital stay


WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House said Monday that the administration will review what rules or procedures weren’t followed when Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin did not disclose his hospitalization for days to President Joe Biden and top officials at the Pentagon and the National Security Council.

“We’ll do what’s akin to a hot wash,” John Kirby, the National Security Council spokesman, said when asked whether Biden wanted a review of what happened. He stressed that the administration will look at the processes in place and “try to learn from this experience.”

Austin was hospitalized on Jan. 1, which the Pentagon did not disclose to the public until Friday. Biden and Jake Sullivan, the president’s national security adviser, were not aware of Austin’s condition until Thursday. The Pentagon has refused to offer details about Austin’s initial medical procedure on Dec. 22 and what prompted him to be admitted into intensive care at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on New Year’s Day.

Kirby said there is an “expectation” among members of Biden’s Cabinet that if one becomes hospitalized, “that will be notified up the chain of command.”

Still, White House officials on Monday emphasized that Austin continues to retain Biden’s confidence, with Kirby adding that the president “respects the fact that Secretary Austin took ownership for the lack of transparency.”

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