Secretary Austin’s Strange Health Secrecy

Secretary Austin’s Strange Health Secrecy


We’ve hesitated to pile on Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for his failure to tell the White House about an illness that required hospitalization. But the news Tuesday that he was treated for an infection after surgery for prostate cancer makes the silence more serious.

Mr. Austin’s doctors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center disclosed the news after days of what had become a medical and political mystery. Why in the world wouldn’t the secretary of defense, one of the top officials in government during a time of global unrest, let his boss and his deputy know he was in the intensive care unit at a hospital? What was he afraid of disclosing?

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