Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary, admitted Monday that he knew about Austin's hospitalization Jan. 2 and should have informed the public sooner.
Ryder expressed his regret and promises to grow as a result of this experience. "I offer my apologies," he stated. The standard that you expect from us is something that I will do all in my power to achieve.
It was a coincidence that the Marine Corps made the announcement late on Monday night that General Eric Smith, the commandant, had successfully undergone open-heart surgery on Monday.
As opposed to the Pentagon, which did not offer any detailed details on Smith's surgery and the events that led to it, the Marine Corps did provide more precise information.
The bicuspid aortic valve in Smith's heart, which was the source of his cardiac arrest on October 28th, was fixed during the surgical procedure. According to the Marine Corps, he is currently recuperating in the hospital with his family and is in a decent condition.
In the meantime, the Pentagon continues to refuse to provide any information on the treatment that Austin received or the difficulties that he experienced afterwards.
In a joint statement, the House Armed Services Committee's ranking Democrat and Republican chairman urged Austin to explain the delay in informing Congress and the White House about his health.