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Immediate Release

Secretary of Defense to Undergo Scheduled Medical Procedure

Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder provided the following statement: 

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III will undergo a scheduled, elective, and minimally invasive follow-up non-surgical procedure related to his previously reported bladder issue at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center later this evening.

The Secretary has determined he will be temporarily unable to perform his functions and duties during the procedure, so Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks will assume the functions and duties of the Secretary of Defense and serve as the Acting Secretary of Defense.

As highlighted in a Feb. 13 DoD news release, the Secretary's bladder issue is not related to his cancer diagnosis and has had no effect on his excellent cancer prognosis. White House and congressional notifications have occurred.  

We will provide an update on Secretary Austin's status following his medical procedure.