Pentagon struggles to explain Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's secret hospitalization

The intensely private Pentagon chief kept even President Joe Biden in the dark about his illness for 3 days

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin
(Image credit: Celal Gunes / Anadolu via Getty Images)

The Pentagon confirmed Sunday that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was hospitalized Jan. 1 after experiencing "severe pain" from complications of a Dec. 22 elective surgery. But officials struggled to explain why the White House, senior Pentagon officials and congressional leaders were not told of his hospitalization for days. 

This opacity about the whereabouts and condition of the Pentagon chief "elicited bewilderment and frustration across the Biden administration" and Congress, The Washington Post reported. Several Republicans angrily called for more information.

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