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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin expected to return to Pentagon Monday for first time since hospitalization

911 call for Lloyd Austin revealed
Audio obtained from 911 call for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin 02:44

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is expected to return to work in-person at the Pentagon on Monday for the first time since his recent hospitalization, according to a defense official. 

Austin has been away from the Pentagon for over a month. He had surgery Dec. 22 to treat prostate cancer, and then was hospitalized for two weeks starting New Year's Day after experiencing complications from the surgery. 

Since being released from the hospital Jan. 15, Austin has been working from home as he recovers. 

After a scheduled follow-up appointment Friday, Austin's doctors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center said in a statement released by the Pentagon that Austin continues to recover well. 

Lloyd Austin expected to return to Pentagon for first time since hospitalization
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin joins a virtual meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group on Jan. 23, 2023, virtually from his home where he has been recovering after undergoing surgery.  Defense Department

"Secretary Austin's prostate cancer was treated early and effectively, and his prognosis is excellent," the medical officials said in the statement. 

The Pentagon has faced criticism for not immediately disclosing Austin's cancer diagnosis and initial surgery in December, and then waiting several days to tell the White House, Congress and the public that Austin was in the hospital and had spent time in the intensive care unit. 

Austin made his first public appearance in a virtual meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group on Tuesday. He joined the meeting of about 50 countries from a computer in his home in Virginia. He did not mention his health or cancer diagnosis in his remarks during that meeting.  

He claimed "full responsibility" earlier this month for decisions about disclosing his health status, but he still has not addressed publicly why he made those decisions. 

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