WASHINGTON, February 12. /TASS/. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was hospitalized with suspected bladder problems, according to a statement released by Pentagon Press Secretary Patrick Ryder.
"Today, at approximately 2:20 pm, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III was transported by his security detail to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to be seen for symptoms suggesting an emergent bladder issue. The Deputy Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have been notified. Additionally, White House and Congressional notifications have occurred," the statement said.
According to Ryder, Austin "is retaining the functions and duties of his office." "The Deputy Secretary is prepared to assume the functions and duties of the Secretary of Defense, if required. Secretary Austin traveled to the hospital with the unclassified and classified communications systems necessary to perform his duties," he said in the statement.