Lloyd Austin, the US Defense Secretary, was hospitalized at Walter Reed National Army Medical Center in Virginia with bladder problems. His duties have been taken over by his deputy, Kathleen Hicks. The Pentagon announced this news, stating that it is unclear how long she will remain in the hospital. Austin was previously diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent surgery last December. However, his secret hospitalization caused controversy in the United States. He was later hospitalized again on January 1 due to complications from his previous surgery.