(HorizonPost.com) – The 911 call placed from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s Virginia home when he returned to the hospital on New Year’s Day was released this week, NBC News reported.
Austin, who had surgery to treat prostate cancer in late December, began experiencing pain and nausea while recovering at home.
In the partially redacted audio recording, which was obtained through a Virginia Freedom of Information request, the 911 caller requested an ambulance for the Defense Secretary and instructed the dispatcher to inform the EMTs to arrive discreetly before taking Austin to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
The caller asked that the ambulance not use “lights and sirens” because “we’re trying to remain a little subtle.”
Austin was hospitalized with a urinary tract infection on January 1. The following day, he was transferred to the ICU where further tests revealed abdominal fluid obstructing the small intestines. Austin had a tube inserted through his nose to drain the fluid.
The hospitalization caused controversy when it was discovered that Austin kept his illness from the White House, Congress, and even officials from the Pentagon.
The Pentagon waited until January 4 to inform the White House that Austin was in the hospital. Even Austin’s second-in-command, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks, was kept in the dark for three days, not learning of his hospitalization until she was on vacation in Puerto Rico.
Austin was released from Walter Reed on Monday, January 15.
The 911 audio recording redacted some information, including Austin’s address, his medical condition, as well as the primary complaint.
During the call, the dispatcher asked a series of questions of the 911 caller. The caller answered that Austin did not have chest pains and did not feel faint. The caller informed the dispatcher that the defense secretary was awake and alert, had not vomited blood, and did not have blood in his stool. One of the questions asked in the audio was redacted.
Following the controversy over the Defense Department’s secrecy in the matter, the Pentagon’s Office of the Inspector General has initiated a review and the House Armed Services Committee has launched a formal investigation.
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