The recent release of a 911 call has shed light on the events surrounding the hospitalization of U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on January 1, 2024. In the call, an aide to Austin can be heard requesting that the ambulance sent to his home in Northern Virginia arrive without lights or sirens, in an effort to keep the transport “subtle.” The call was made as Austin, 70, was being taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for treatment related to complications from prostate cancer.
The 911 Call
The call, which was made to the Fairfax County dispatch center, was released to the public following a freedom of information request. In the call, the unidentified aide can be heard asking the dispatcher, “Can the ambulance not show up with lights and sirens? We’re trying to remain a little subtle.” The request for a discreet approach was made as Austin was being transported to the medical center for treatment.
Secrecy and Investigations
The release of the 911 call has prompted renewed scrutiny of the secrecy surrounding Austin’s hospitalization and the delay in informing senior defense officials and the White House about his condition. The lack of transparency has raised concerns about security protocols and the need for timely and accurate information about the health of top government officials. In response to the concerns, three investigations have been initiated to examine the circumstances surrounding Austin’s hospitalization and the handling of information about his health.
Austin’s Health and Recovery
Following his hospitalization, Austin spent two weeks at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center before being released on January 17, 2024. He has since returned home to continue his recovery and will be working remotely as he recuperates from the medical treatment he received.
The Pentagon Inspector General is leading one of the investigations into the events surrounding Austin’s hospitalization, with a focus on the handling of information about his health and the delay in informing senior officials about his condition. The investigations are expected to provide a comprehensive review of the circumstances and decisions that led to the delayed disclosure of Austin’s hospitalization and the need for improved protocols for communicating information about the health of top government officials.
The release of the 911 call and the subsequent investigations underscore the importance of transparency and timely communication about the health of government officials. The need for clear and consistent protocols for handling sensitive medical information has been highlighted by the events surrounding Austin’s hospitalization, and the investigations are expected to provide valuable insights into the improvements needed to ensure the accurate and timely dissemination of information about the health of top government officials.