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How Lloyd Austin’s Deputy Ended Up Running the Pentagon From the Beach

Posted on AllSides January 10th, 2024
From The Center
Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press

For four days in January, most of Washington, including President Biden, didn’t know who was running the Pentagon.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was secretly rushed to Walter Reed Military Medical Center on New Year’s Day, suffering from nausea and severe pain. It would be eight days before the president learned why. 

So began a series of events without modern precedent. Austin—sixth in the line of presidential succession and second in the line of military command after the president—was hospitalized and his deputy required to step in from a beach in...

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