Days later, Austin’s secret hospitalization has spiraled into a drama engulfing the upper echelons of the Biden administration. Senior White House officials are struggling to answer questions about who knew what, and when, about the former general’s medical emergency. Criticism is pouring in from Congress and the media.
And since the Pentagon went public with the situation Friday night, new reports are coming in, including POLITICO’s disclosure on Saturday evening that the Pentagon had not informed President Joe Biden or the National Security Council for days that Austin was indisposed.
The strange saga has fixed Washington on one question: What is going on with the secretary of Defense?
White House and Pentagon aides insist that Austin’s job is not in jeopardy — at least not yet. But they are sticking to that line despite seeming to lack full information about what’s actually been going on at the Pentagon. The precise nature of Austin’s surgery, medical complications and even his current condition remain unclear or addressed only in vague terms. Senior Defense Department and White House officials still don’t know the details of the procedure.
There has also been no accounting yet for the decision to withhold information about Austin’s medical emergency from the public and even the president.
BANANA REPUBLIC: Defense Secretary Austin Scandal Is Even Worse Than We Thought. “When it was first reported on Saturday that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been in the hospital since January 1, it was natural to assume that key figures in the Pentagon and the White House, for whatever reason, chose to keep his hospitalization a secret. What possible motive could there be for doing this? Who knows? It didn’t make a lot of sense, but the Biden administration has an extensive record of covering up scandals, so it wasn’t exactly out of character for the Biden administration to cover something up. The truth that has been coming out over the course of the day suggests something far, far worse. According to the latest reports, not even the White House knew about Lloyd’s hospitalization.”