Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is in critical condition due to a sudden and urgent issue with his bladder.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was hospitalized on Sunday afternoon after experiencing symptoms of an “emergent bladder issue,” according to the Pentagon. He has since transferred his duties to his deputy, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks.

Austin was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at approximately 2:20 pm, where he was admitted to a critical care unit after a series of tests and evaluations. While it is not clear how long he will remain hospitalized, his cancer prognosis remains excellent and the current bladder issue is not expected to affect his recovery.

Initially, it was reported that Austin would continue to fulfill his duties while in the hospital. However, it was later announced that he had transferred his functions and duties to Hicks. The White House and National Security Council were notified of Austin’s hospitalization, and a defense official confirmed that he will no longer be traveling to Brussels for a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group.

This is not the first time Austin has been hospitalized this year. In January, he spent two weeks in the hospital due to complications from treatment for prostate cancer. He returned to work at the end of the month, but stated that he was still recovering.

Austin’s health has been closely monitored since he became the first African American to serve as defense secretary. He was scheduled to make his first overseas trip since his initial hospitalization this week, but it will now be held virtually.

We will provide updates on Austin’s condition as they become available.  

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