Kathleen Hicks has taken over as the acting US Secretary of Defense after Lloyd Austin was hospitalized in the intensive care unit of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Virginia for a bladder problem. The exact duration of his hospitalization is not yet known, according to the Pentagon.
The news of Austin’s hospitalization has sparked controversy and raised concerns about leadership succession. Last December, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent surgery, which led to his initial hospitalization. He was later hospitalized again on January 1 due to complications from the surgery.
The Secretary’s health issues have prompted discussions about leadership succession in the event that she is unable to fulfill her duties. The uncertainty surrounding her hospitalization has led to speculation and questions about the management of the Department of Defense.
As Deputy Secretary Hicks takes on Austin’s responsibilities, it is crucial for the Department of Defense to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities and maintain strong leadership during this challenging time. The Secretary’s health is of utmost importance, and the department is focused on supporting her recovery.
It remains to be seen how long Austin will remain hospitalized and what impact this will have on his ability to perform his duties as Secretary of Defense. However, for now, it appears that Hicks will continue to serve as Acting Secretary until further notice.