An aide to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin asked EMTs responding to the secretary’s home to be “subtle,” according to audio of a 911 call.
The aide requested that the ambulance not use its sirens or lights during the trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The newly-released 911 call is the latest development in Austin’s secret hospital visit, which was kept even from President Biden and other top members of the administration.
“Can the ambulance not show up with lights and sirens? We’re trying to remain a little subtle,” the aide told first responders in the call.
The dispatcher replied that ambulances are legally required to use lights and sirens when driving on main roads, but added that, “Usually, when they turn into a residential neighborhood they’ll turn them off.”
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Austin first arrived at the hospital on New Year’s Day and stayed for two weeks before being released on Tuesday. He is expected to work from home for a “period of time.”
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“The Secretary will recuperate and perform his duties remotely for a period of time before returning full-time to the Pentagon. He has full access to required secure communications capabilities,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
Doctors offered information on the nature of his stay after he was released this week. Dr. John Maddox, trauma medical director, and Dr. Gregory Chesnut, director of the Center for Prostate Disease Research, said he did not undergo surgery.
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“Secretary Austin progressed well throughout his stay and his strength is rebounding,” the doctors said. “He underwent a series of medical tests and evaluations and received non-surgical care during his stay to address his medical needs, to include resolving some lingering leg pains.”
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It was confirmed that Austin had been diagnosed with prostate cancer last week.
Despite the apparent lack of communication, President Biden told a group of reporters outside Allentown, Pennsylvania, on Friday that he has confidence in Austin as he resumes his duties as Defense Secretary.
“I do,” President Biden answered, when asked about whether he trusted the Pentagon chief’s leadership.
Fox News’ Lawrence Richard contributed to this report.