The Pentagon’s story about Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s secret hospital stay is getting worse the more Austin’s spokesman says about it. New statements on Sunday by Pentagon Press Secretary Major General Pat Ryder attempt to explain the how of Austin’s illness and secrecy but not the why. Incredibly Ryder blames the failure to notify Joe Biden and the White House until Thursday on Austin’s chief of staff Kelly Magsamen taking ill. Also, Ryder says Austin, who remains at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, overstayed his time in the ICU because of space and privacy concerns. In other words, Austin took an ICU bed he no longer needed so as to keep his condition secret. Austin refuses to disclose the nature of his illness or why he kept it secret, except that it followed an elective medical procedure.
WASHINGTON (Jan. 23, 2021) Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III poses for his official portrait in the Army portrait studio at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., Jan 23, 2020.(U.S. Army photo by Spc. XaViera Masline)
Ryder gave no estimate on when the 70-year-old Austin may be released or whether Austin was taken by ambulance when he took ill on New Year’s Day.
As secretary of Defense, Austin is sixth in line of succession to the presidency (VP, House Speaker, Senate Pro Tempore, Secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense…)
Earlier Sunday, Ryder issued a bland press release on Austin:
Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder provided the following statement:
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III remains hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center but is recovering well and in good spirits.
Since resuming his duties on Friday evening, the Secretary has received operational updates and has provided necessary guidance to his team. He has full access to required secure communications capabilities and continues to monitor DoD’s day-to-day operations worldwide.
The Secretary spoke to President Biden yesterday. He has also been in contact with Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. and his senior staff.
While we do not have a specific date for his release at this time, we will continue to provide updates on the Secretary’s status as they become available.
Sunday evening Ryder issued a statement to reporters with more details on the how , but not the why, that raises more questions and outrage.
Reporters posted various takes on Ryder’s statement:
ABC News’ Luis Martinez, “1/3“On Friday, December 22, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III underwent an elective medical procedure at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He was on leave at the time. He returned home on Saturday, December 23,” @PentagonPressSec tells @jparkABC…2/3″On the evening of January 1, he began experiencing severe pain and was transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit,” Ryder told ABC…3/3 “For privacy reasons, we’re not able to provide additional information. He was placed in the hospital’s intensive care unit to ensure immediate access to due to his medical needs, but then remained in that location in part due to hospital space considerations and privacy.”
1/3“On Friday, December 22, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III underwent an elective medical procedure at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He was on leave at the time. He returned home on Saturday, December 23,” @PentagonPressSec tells@jparkABC
— luis martinez (@LMartinezABC) January 7, 2024
3/3 “For privacy reasons, we’re not able to provide additional information. He was placed in the hospital’s intensive care unit to ensure immediate access to due to his medical needs, but then remained in that location in part due to hospital space considerations and privacy,”
— luis martinez (@LMartinezABC) January 7, 2024
CBS News’ Eleanor Watson, “New details on Defense Secretary Austin’s hospitalization, per @PentagonPresSec:- Dec 22 – Austin had an elective medical procedure at Walter Reed. – Dec 23 – he returned home- Jan 1 – he began experiencing severe pain, was transported to Walter Reed and admitted to ICU…He was admitted to the ICU for both his medical needs and privacy. The delay in notifying the White House and the deputy secretary is because Austin’s chief of staff had an illness.”
He was admitted to the ICU for both his medical needs and privacy. The delay in notifying the White House and the deputy secretary is because Austin’s chief of staff had an illness.
— Eleanor Watson (@ellee_watson) January 7, 2024
Timeline on who was told and when:
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Charles Q. Brown Jr. was told Tuesday, the day after Austin went to Walter Reed. Brown apparently did not inform Biden or anyone.
Deputy Secretary Kathleen Hicks performed some of Austin’s duties while on vacation in Puerto Rico but she was not informed until Thursday he was in the hospital.
Joe Biden and the White House, including National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan were not told until Thursday.
Congress was not informed until Friday, just fifteen minutes before the Pentagon issued a press release.
Senior military and civilian officials at the Pentagon received an email from Austin’s chief of staff Friday afternoon, two hours before the press release was issued.
Some Pentagon officials were not told at all and learned about Austin’s illness from press reports Friday night.
Other Pentagon officials were lied to by Austin’s staff over the week, being told he was working at home, reported Politico (excerpt):
“But Austin’s hospitalization was a closely guarded secret, kept from even senior Pentagon officials and congressional leaders until just before the public statement, according to nine DOD officials and two congressional aides. Some Pentagon officials only learned of Austin’s situation through Ryder’s news release. One of the DOD officials said their office was told by Austin’s aides that the secretary was working from home for the week.”
Previous TGP reports on Austin’s secret hospital stay:
The post Secret Hospital Stay Story Gets Worse: SecDef Austin Remained in Walter Reed ICU to Protect His Privacy After He No Longer Needed to Be There; Blames Chief of Staff Illness for Delay in Notifying Biden appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.