According to The Hill, Rogers sent letters to Austin, Chief of Staff Kelly Magsamen and Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, asking them to forward any information and documents they have regarding the hospitalization of the Secretary of Defense.
In a letter to the Minister, Rogers, who has launched a formal investigation into Austin’s “secret” hospitalization, called the failure to notify authorities of the surgery quickly “outrageous”.
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“Everything from ongoing counterterrorism operations to nuclear command and control depends on a clear understanding of the Secretary’s decision-making capacity,” Rogers wrote in his letter. The ministry is a robust institution and is designed to function when attacked by our enemies, but it is not designed for a minister who hides his incapacity.”
With wars raging in Ukraine and Israel, it is completely unacceptable that the White House and even Austin’s aide did not understand the situation, Rogers said, adding that Austin should provide information on whether he directed his staff not to inform authorities about his hospitalization.
Rogers also asked the Secretary of Defense to explain whether he delegated his authority to his deputy, Hicks, what steps were taken during his hospitalization, and what military measures were being taken within the US Central Command for the Middle East.
On the other hand, Rogers stated in his letter to Hicks that it was “shocking” that he did not know the situation of the Minister, “It is worrying that you are acting without fully understanding the situation of the Minister of Defense.”
“As you must be aware, this lack of transparency is inexcusable and could have had disastrous consequences,” Rogers wrote in a letter to Chief of Staff Magsamen.
Austin diagnosed with prostate cancer
It was announced that Austin, who was hospitalized in the US on December 22, 2023, was being treated for prostate cancer.
In a written statement from Walter Reed National Military Hospital, where Austin is being treated, it was stated that the Minister was diagnosed with prostate cancer in early December.
It was reported that Austin was admitted to the hospital on December 22 and underwent a minimal surgical procedure called prostatectomy under general anesthesia, and that the surgery went well.
The statement said that the minister was discharged the next day but was hospitalized again on January 1 due to severe abdominal, hip and leg pain and nausea complications from the surgery, and noted that Austin contracted a urinary tract infection in the first evaluation.
It was revealed that the White House first became aware of Austin’s condition on Friday, January 5, after three days in the intensive care unit.