Pentagon says Austin released from hospital, has resumed full duties

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks during a press briefing at the Pentagon on February 1, 2024 in Washington. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks during a press briefing at the Pentagon on February 1, 2024 in Washington. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

WASHINGTON — US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been released from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and resumed his full duties, the Pentagon says.

Austin, 70, has had ongoing health issues since undergoing surgery in December to treat prostate cancer. He was taken back to Walter Reed on Sunday for a bladder issue and admitted to intensive care for the second time since the surgery. He underwent a non-surgical procedure under general anesthesia on Monday.

He is expected on Wednesday to host a virtual meeting of about 50 countries who meet monthly to coordinate military aid for Ukraine.

He had been scheduled to travel to Brussels on Tuesday for the Ukraine meeting, followed by a quarterly meeting with NATO defense ministers on Thursday. The US ambassador to NATO, Julie Smith, will represent Austin at that meeting instead.

In January, Austin was hospitalized for two weeks at Walter Reed after he experienced complications from the surgery.

His Walter Reed doctors had said they did not anticipate he would be in the hospital this time for a prolonged period.

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