Biden Compromises U.S. National Security
The Pentagon and the Biden administration are facing criticism over the lack of transparency regarding Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s recent hospitalization. Social media erupted with complaints, and the Pentagon Press Association (PPA) expressed significant concerns about the Defense Department’s failure to inform the public promptly. The PPA criticized the delayed disclosure of Austin’s four-day hospitalization at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, particularly noting the late Friday evening announcement.
Surprisingly, even Austin’s chief deputy, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, was unaware of the details of his absence. This lack of information extended to President Biden, who only learned about Austin’s hospitalization three days into his stay. The Department of Defense released a brief statement on January 1, mentioning Austin’s admission for complications following an elective medical procedure but omitting details about his intensive care unit stay, indicating the severity of his illness.
The delayed and incomplete disclosure drew condemnation on social media, with some questioning the administration’s commitment to transparency. The PPA board members emphasized the public’s right to know about the hospitalization of U.S. Cabinet members, demanding accountability for the decision not to disclose timely information.
Despite attempts to quell the controversy, Austin acknowledged the shortcomings in informing the public but did not address the failure to notify President Biden. Senator Roger Wicker labeled Austin’s silence as “unacceptable” and called for a briefing, hinting at the potential for a challenging hearing if Austin does not resign. In contrast, Representative James Clyburn suggested that Austin’s lack of disclosure might not be a dereliction of duty but emphasized the need for improved communication going forward.