Politics

Austin Seems to Have Been ‘Unstable’ and Admin.’s Story Makes No Sense

On Tuesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Situation Room,” George Washington School of Medicine & Health Sciences Professor and CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner, who additionally suggested the White House medical staff underneath President George W. Bush said that the Biden administration’s story on Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s hospitalization “really starts to fall apart when you think about the Secretary of Defense in an intensive care unit without notifying the rest of the chain of command, because he would have been potentially unstable, he would have been potentially on pain medication that would have made it very difficult for him to make complex recommendations in a time of a national crisis.” And that Austin’s ICU admission “suggests that he was unstable.”

Reiner stated, “Well, first of all, it sounds like the Secretary had an abscess form about a week after his surgery. That would be the fluid that they described that was present in his abdomen, and that would’ve had to have been drained to help him heal. And then I’m sure he’s in the hospital now continuing to receive antibiotics, and whether he’ll need antibiotics going forward is unclear. And then it also depends on if there are any complications from the urologic surgery itself and the prostate healing and his urine flow and things like that. But it’s important to note that hospitalization…takes a lot out of you. And the Secretary, although he looks very robust, is 70 years old. And I tell people that it takes about three times as long to recover from an illness as you spend in the hospital. So, if he’s in the hospital now for eight days, it could take him a month to recover from this.”

Host Wolf Blitzer then requested, “He was readmitted to the hospital, as you know, last week, after originally undergoing the surgery to deal with the prostate cancer, so what does that indicate to you?”

Reiner answered, “Well, it indicates that he was sick, and more importantly, he was admitted to the intensive care unit, which suggests that he was unstable. And the story really starts to fall apart when you think about the Secretary of Defense in an intensive care unit without notifying the rest of the chain of command, because he would have been potentially unstable, he would have been potentially on pain medication that would have made it very difficult for him to make complex recommendations in a time of a national crisis. So, that piece of the story is very hard to understand.”

Reiner concluded, “I think if he’s no longer on pain medication and he’s just receiving antibiotics, maybe some physical therapy and just overall resting at home, yeah, then he should be very capable of reading emails and participating in conference calls and advising the White House as long as he’s not requiring pain medication.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett



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