Defense Secretary Appears Before House Armed Services Committee

He took full responsibility for the secrecy surrounding his hospitalization at the beginning of the year.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin appeared before the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday to answer questions about his decision not to disclose his hospitalization to the president’s administration at the start of the year. He had been in the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center intensive care unit for several days before alerting the White House.

Chair Mike Rogers of Alabama said, “It’s totally unacceptable that it took over 3 days to inform the President that the Secretary of Defense was in the hospital and not in control of the Pentagon.”

Secretary Austin stated that, while there was a “breakdown in notifications” at the time, command and control authorities had been covered and that he or the deputy secretary was “in a position to conduct the duties of my office.”

He said, “We did not handle this right. And I did not handle this right. And as you know, I have apologized … including directly to the president. And I take full responsibility.” 

Secretary Austin continued, “I should have promptly informed the president, my team, Congress, and the American people about my cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment.”

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Secretary Austin to receive God’s guidance as he heads the Department of Defense.
  • For Chair Rogers and members of the House Armed Services Committee as they seek to ensure property chain of command authority and coverage is maintained.

Sources: Air Force Times, ABC News


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