The resignation of United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is not on the table after he decided not to report his hospitalization since January 1. Sources close to President Joe Biden have assured that it is not an option that the president wants to consider despite the anomalous nature of the case and the pressure exerted by the Republican caucus, including former President Donald Trump.

Austin, 70, decided to keep his admission to the Walter Reed military medical center private due to complications after a surgical procedure, which raised questions about the type of ailment he suffers from and why he decided to keep a matter secret. so delicate In total, there were three and a half days of silence, according to the publication Politico, which elapsed from his admission until he met at the White House.

The situation has generated confusion and discomfort both in the Pentagon and in President Biden’s entourage. As Secretary of Defense, Austin is in charge of 1.4 million active members of the US military at a time of clear international geopolitical tension, marked by conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza.

The power vacuum while the retired general remained hospitalized forced him to sing the mea culpa in a statement last Saturday. “I recognize that he could have done a better job ensuring the public was adequately informed,” he said. “I am committed to doing better.”

At the moment he has the support of Biden, a president little given to making sudden changes in his cabinet. In this regard, John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council, indicated that the president “respects the fact that Secretary Austin took charge of the lack of transparency” and indicated that he will remain in the position. “Our primary focus at this time is Secretary Austin’s health and ensuring that he receives all the care and support he needs to make a full recovery,” he added.

Austin entered a medical center on December 22 to undergo an operation that he had already planned and for which he took a few days off. 24 hours later he returned to his house, but something went wrong. On the first day of the year he began to feel “severe pain” that forced him to be transferred to Walter Reed and be treated in the intensive care unit.

Pat Ryder, general and spokesman at the Pentagon, confirmed that Austin was able to return to his duties on Friday despite being in the hospital and that he is recovering satisfactorily. “Since he resumed his duties Friday afternoon, the secretary has received operational updates and provided necessary guidance to his team,” Ryder said. “He has full access to the necessary communications capabilities and continues to monitor the daily operations of the Department of Defense around the world.”

Ryder confirmed that Austin spoke with President Biden last Saturday and has been in contact with Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. CQ Brown Jr., and their staff. At the moment there is no specific date for his hospital discharge.

The news immediately sparked angry criticism from Republicans. Jim Banks, a congressman from Indiana and a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said: “Austin has been a disaster from day one and should be replaced by someone who focuses on getting the military ready to fight and win. wars instead of making progress for the Biden administration’s woke policy.

For his part, Florida Senator Rick Scott has demanded that Austin give an explanation in Congress once he leaves the hospital. Trump has also joined the criticism bandwagon calling for Austin’s immediate resignation for his “inappropriate professional conduct and dereliction of duty.” He has been missing for a week and no one, including his boss, the corrupt Joe Biden, had any idea where he was. or could be,” Trump wrote on his social network, Truth Social.

Born in Mobile, Alabama, in 1953, Austin graduated from the Fort Bragg military academy and quickly rose through the military ranks. He was the commander in charge of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and appointed commanding general in Iraq, responsible for the capture of Mosul in June 2014. In September 2020 it was learned that he would be chosen by Biden and Harris to head the Department of Defense. if they won the elections.