Pentagon Spokesperson Pat Ryder made a written statement regarding Secretary Austin's health status.

Ryder stated that Austin was hospitalized on January 1 due to complications following an operation he underwent.

Stating that Austin's recovery process is going well, Ryder underlined that the Minister is expected to return to duty.

Late announcement of the situation was met with reaction
The Pentagon Press Corps, which represents media outlets that cover the Defense Department, expressed "concern" about the late notification of the situation.

In a written statement, the group emphasized that the public has a right to know about such situations and called it "outrageous" that the Pentagon informed the public days later.

According to CNN, Ryder then stated that they had to consider other factors, citing medical confidentiality.