Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin apologises for secretive hospital stayon February 1, 2024 at 4:51 pm

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“I should have told the president about my cancer diagnosis,” says US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin.

Lloyd AustinImage source, Getty Images

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has apologised after failing to notify the chain of command when he was secretly admitted to a hospital in December.

He was released earlier this month as he continues to recover from treatment for prostate cancer.

“I did not handle this right,” he said. “I should have told the president about my cancer diagnosis.”

Pentagon chiefs are supposed to be available at a moment’s notice to handle any national security crisis.

“I take full responsibility and I apologise to my teammates and to the American people,” said Mr Austin at a news conference on Thursday, his first day back at work.

“As a rule I don’t talk about conversations with my boss, but I can tell you I’ve apologised directly to President Biden.

“And I’ve told him that I’m deeply sorry for not letting him know immediately that I received a heavy diagnosis and was getting treatment.”

This is a developing news story. More updates to follow.

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