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Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Eric Smith recovering from open-heart surgery

The Marine Corps commandant Gen. Eric Smith underwent open-heart surgery on Monday to correct a heart defect, the Marine Corps said in a statement Monday evening. The service said he is expected to return to full-duty after his rehabilitation. 

The prompt statement from the Marine Corps stands in contrast to how the Pentagon waited several days to tell the White House, Congress, and the public about Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's hospitalization

Austin was admitted to the hospital on New Year's Day when he experienced severe pain from a recent elective medical procedure. The Pentagon still has not disclosed what that procedure was, but has said he spent time in intensive care when he was hospitalized. 

Smith's open-heart surgery comes a few months after he suffered a cardiac arrest while jogging in Washington, D.C. The Marine Corps disclosed the incident in a statement the next day. 

The open-heart surgery was to repair a bicuspid aortic valve, which caused his cardiac arrest, according to the Marine Corps' statement on Monday. 

"He is in good condition and continues to recover at the hospital among family members and his doctors," the service said. 

Since Smith's cardiac arrest, the assistant commandant Gen. Christopher J. Mahoney has taken on the responsibilities of the commandant and will continue through Smith's rehabilitation. 

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