Austin Is Released From the Hospital and Will Return to Work

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III was released from the hospital on Tuesday, the Pentagon said.

Mr. Austin, 70, had canceled a trip to Brussels to meet with NATO counterparts on Russia’s war in Ukraine after returning to Walter Reed National Medical Center in Bethesda for the second time this year with complications stemming from prostate cancer surgery. Doctors at Walter Reed said Monday that Mr. Austin had undergone a nonsurgical procedure under general anesthesia to address a bladder issue.

Mr. Austin had transferred his authority to Kathleen Hicks, the deputy defense secretary. He took that authority back at 5 p.m. Tuesday, the Pentagon said in a statement.

“On the advice of his doctors, Secretary Austin will recuperate and perform his duties remotely from home for a period before returning to work at the Pentagon later this week,” the statement said.

His doctors at Walter Reed, John Maddox and Gregory Chesnut, said in a statement that Mr. Austin’s bladder issue was not related to his cancer diagnosis and “will have no effect on his excellent cancer prognosis.”

Sabrina Singh, the deputy Pentagon press secretary, told reporters at a news conference that Mr. Austin would attend Wednesday’s Ukraine meeting in Brussels via video teleconference.

On Dec. 22, Mr. Austin underwent a prostatectomy, the removal of all or part of the prostate gland. He was released after the surgery but returned a little over a week later with an infection. He was put in intensive care, and doctors said they drained excess abdominal fluid.

Mr. Austin was widely criticized for failing to immediately disclose his illness and absence to the White House, a breach of protocol that baffled officials across the government, including at the Pentagon.

He remained hospitalized for two weeks in January and returned to the Pentagon on Jan. 29.

But on Sunday, he was back in the hospital with continuing bladder problems.

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