White House maintains Defense Secretary Austin's job is safe despite calls from Trump
Lloyd Austin (Photo: ERA, MAST IRHAM)

Some leading Republicans, led by the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, called for the dismissal of the head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin, after he did not report his hospitalization for several days. The representative of the White House, John Kirby, said that the Secretary of Defense of the United States will remain in office, the Voice of America reports.

At a Monday briefing, US Department of Defense spokesman Pat Ryder said that Austin was admitted to the intensive care unit and remains in the hospital.

At the same time, the head of the Pentagon did not state this either publicly or to President Joe Biden and the Ministry of Defense, although this is usually expected from American government officials.

Journalists note that on Saturday, Austin said that he takes "full responsibility" for not reporting his hospitalization.

However, Trump and his people called for Austin's immediate dismissal for "improper professional conduct and dereliction of duty."

"He has been missing for one week, and nobody, including his boss, Crooked Joe Biden, had a clue as to where he was, or might be," the former US president wrote on his Truth Social social network.

Kirby said he did not have information on the nature of Austin's medical problem, but that Biden and Austin have been communicating these days. He stated that the dismissal of the defense chief is not under consideration.

"There is no plan for anything other than for Secretary Austin to stay in the job," he said, adding that the White House will review what rules or procedures were not followed during Austin's hospitalization.

The Pentagon Press Association criticized the department's decision to report the chief's medical complications post-fact, saying the public " has a right to know when U.S. cabinet members are hospitalized, under anesthesia or when duties are delegated as the result of any medical procedure."