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    Amid Firestorm Created by Austin’s Cancer Secrecy, Missed Opportunities to Build Trust and Educate

    Amid Firestorm Created by Austin's Cancer Secrecy, Missed Opportunities to Build Trust and Educate

    — The secrecy surrounding Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's hospitalizations due to prostate cancer surgery set off a political firestorm, launched multiple reviews and triggered calls for his ouster.

    To some, the uproar may be puzzling or even offensive. An individual's right to privacy, particularly about medical issues, is sacred. And most people have that right to privacy. But not all.

    As a member of President Joe Biden's Cabinet, a key national security adviser and a guardian of the use and maintenance of the country's nuclear arsenal, Austin gives up some personal privacy. He must be ready to act on a moment's notice if the U.S. is attacked and must be able to make an array of immediate, critical decisions on the deployment of troops or the use of America's might anywhere in the world.

    Although he transferred key decision-making authorities to Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks during the surgery and early part of his current hospital stay, he did not tell her why. He also did not tell Biden, other U.S. government leaders, and his senior staff about his surgery, his diagnosis — or that he was rushed by ambulance to the hospital — until days later.

    Here's a look at what happened and why it set off an outcry and launched a government-wide demand to fix such lapses.

    The cancer

    Austin, 70, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in early December after a routine screening.

    He was…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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