Headline RoundupJanuary 10th, 2024

Lloyd Austin, White House Criticized Over Defense Secretary's Hospitalization

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and the White House are facing criticism across the political spectrum regarding Austin's concealment of his current hospitalization.

For Context: Austin had surgery to treat prostate cancer last month, but a complication stemming from the surgery led him to return to the hospital on Jan. 1, where he remains. According to reports, the White House did not learn about Austin’s return to the hospital until Jan. 4.

“Owes the Public More Answers”: The Washington Post Editorial Board (Lean Left bias) argued Austin “owes the public more answers.” The board determined the White House’s failure to notice Austin’s absence amid multiple international conflicts indicated Austin is “not as central to national security decision-making as his counterparts.” The board concluded the incident should spark a debate on the “wisdom of having recently retired generals serve as defense secretary,” citing concerns regarding the relationship between the military and the White House.

Public Trust: The New York Post Editorial Board (Right bias) asked, “If we can’t trust the Biden administration to reveal that the defense secretary has cancer … how can we trust the White House on more important questions?” The board voiced concern that the White House could conceal health information “about an 81-year-old president in obvious mental and physical decline.” The board called on President Biden to fire Austin, concluding, “How can the man the American public entrusted with defending the country from all enemies foreign and domestic possibly do that if he won’t fire untrustworthy underlings?”

Featured Coverage of this Story

More headline roundups

AllSides Picks

More News about Joe Biden from the Left, Center and Right

From the Left

From the Center

From the Right