Biden admin slammed for 'defiance of law' after Pentagon chief's secret hospitalization | 6 Jan 2024 | U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, said Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin needs to explain why the White House and senior officials weren't immediately notified that he'd been hospitalized earlier this week until days later, amid a complex time as the Biden administration deals with a slew of national security matters abroad. Austin was admitted to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday for complications following a recent elective medical procedure," Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said Friday, at which time the press was told. Ryder said that the hospitalization was kept from the media due to "medical and personal privacy issues." However, staffers with the National Security Council, the Department of Defense, congressional leaders, and the White House weren't immediately told, either, officials confirmed to Fox News.

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