Defense Secretary Austin to face questions for first time since keeping hospitalization secret

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin meets with the U.K. Secretary of State for Defense Grant Shapps at the Pentagon on Jan. 31, 2024 in Arlington, Virginia. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

(WASHINGTON) — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will appear at the Pentagon podium for a press conference on Thursday.

The news conference, at 10:30 a.m., will be his first media briefing since his surgery and subsequent hospitalization, both of which was kept secret from the White House and the public.

It also will be the first time the public will see him standing. He continues to undergo physical therapy.

On Jan. 12, President Joe Biden publicly faulted Austin for not informing him earlier that he was hospitalized for complications from cancer treatment.

When a reporter asked Biden whether it was “a lapse in judgment for him not to tell you earlier,” Biden replied, “Yes.”

At the same time, when asked by a reporter if he still had confidence in Austin, Biden replied he did.

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