What was SecDef thinking?

83

You heard about this, right? The Secretary of Defense checked in to Walter Reed hospital for an undisclosed complaint, underwent a procedure involving sedation and a spell in the ICU, while his deputy was on vacation overseas and his boss, the Commander in Chief, knew nothing of it?

Lloyd J. Austin III is the 28th secretary of defense, sworn in on Jan. 22, 2021. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., Austin served 41 years in uniform, retiring as a four-star Army general after three years as commander of U.S. Central Command. In addition to being Defense secretary he is sixth in the line of succession to the presidency.

Under pressure, the Pentagon released new details yesterday about his hospitalization, saying he had a medical procedure Dec. 22, went home a day later and was admitted to intensive care Jan. 1 when he began experiencing severe pain. It took the Pentagon three and a half days to inform the White House that he had been hospitalized on New Year’s Day following complications.

POLITICO reports: Biden and his team have been adamant that Austin remains in good standing, despite not informing the White House or his deputy of his hospitalization for three days. Both men held a call on Saturday, their first conversation since Austin’s Jan. 1 hospitalization at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where Biden stated he looked forward to seeing the secretary back at the Pentagon soon.

Why wouldn’t he wish to reprimand SecDef? It makes no sense. Unless Joe is planning to do something similar and needs the precedent?