Defense Secretary Austin hospitalized following surgery complications

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is recovering after complications following elective surgery, which he had on Monday, the Pentagon said. 

“On the evening of January 1, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for complications following a recent elective medical procedure,” Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder Pentagon said. 

“He is recovering well and is expecting to resume his full duties today,” Ryder added.

Ryder said that Austin was hospitalized following the surgery, but not immediately after.

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The news about Austin, who has been hospitalized since Monday, was shared with the media Friday.

Ryder said that the hospitalization was kept from the press due to “medical and personal privacy issues.”

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“This has been an evolving situation in which we [have] had to consider a number of factors including medical and personal privacy issues,” Ryder told Fox News. “We are now in a position to update you.”

It wasn’t immediately clear what the elective medical procedure was.

Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks has been filling in while on a previously scheduled leave.

“At all times, the deputy secretary of defense was prepared to act for and exercise the powers of the secretary, if required,” Ryder said.

The Pentagon did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

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