Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin hospitalized for 'bladder issue', Pentagon officials say

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III was re-admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Sunday. 

According to the Pentagon, Austin was taken to the hospital by his security detail around 2:20 p.m. 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, as well as President Joe Biden and Congress.

Officials say at this time, Austin is retaining the functions and duties of his office but the Deputy Secretary is prepared to assume the functions and duties of the Secretary of Defense, if required. 

Austin was taken to the hospital with the unclassified and classified communications systems necessary to perform his duties.

The secretary was hospitalized last month and made headlines for failing to quickly notify the president and other senior leaders. It came after a prostate cancer diagnosis in early December, which had also been kept secret.

He had surgery and was hospitalized on Jan. 1, when he began suffering complications from the procedure. His hospitalization was not made known until five days later

Austin was scheduled to go to Brussels Tuesday to hold a meeting of the Ukraine contact group, which he established in 2022 to coordinate military support for Kyiv after Russia's invasion. After that, he was to attend a regular meeting of NATO defense ministers. It's not yet clear if his hospitalization will alter those plans. 

Pentagon officials say they will issue additional updates.