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Congressional Black Caucus Issues Statement on Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin

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Washington, January 11, 2024 | Freedom Alexander Murphy (202-702-0797) | comments

Today, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Steven Horsford (NV-04) and members of the Congressional Black Caucus issued the following statement regarding Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III: 

“Secretary Austin has served our nation honorably in and out of uniform for more than 41 years, including during his tenure leading the Department of Defense. He has restored a sense of calmness to the DoD that has been crucial during turbulent times, and he has been and continues to be a dedicated public servant.” 

“The CBC fully supports Secretary Austin remaining in his role and we strongly push back against efforts to politicize a deeply personal and private health diagnosis. We can all certainly provide some level of privacy in the initial aftermath of a cancer diagnosis, and we encourage others towards decency in this moment.” 

“Even still, a higher standard does exist for public officials, for which Secretary Austin and the DoD have stated that the Secretary’s hospitalization could have been communicated sooner. We also know that the Secretary’s duties during his procedure were transferred to his Deputy Secretary, which is the proper procedure. Secretary Austin has taken full responsibility on the need to keep the public informed and the need to do better. 

“We are also pleased to learn that due to the events that have transpired this month, the Secretary’s office has now changed its policy to ensure that it notifies everyone of why authorities are being temporarily transferred — not just when. As such, calls for Secretary Austin to resign or face impeachment proceedings are rushed judgments. 

“The CBC is pleased to hear that Secretary Austin’s cancer was diagnosed early and that his prognosis is positive. Prostate cancer is a common and serious concern for men, particularly 1 in every 6 Black men, and we hope that Secretary Austin makes a full and speedy recovery.” 

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