The Department of Defense (DOD) inspector general (IG) is investigating Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s hospitalization and related actions that led to President Joe Biden and other top national security officials being unaware of it for several days.
The DOD IG said in an emailed statement:
On January 10, [Inspector General Robert] Storch notified DoD of our plan to begin the subject review in January 2024. The objective of the review is to examine the roles, processes, procedures, responsibilities, and actions related to the Secretary of Defense’s hospitalization in December 2023 – January 2024, and assess whether the DoD’s policies and procedures are sufficient to ensure timely and appropriate notifications and the effective transition of authorities as may be warranted due to health-based or other unavailability of senior leadership.
The DOD IG said in a memo notifying the DOD of the investigation that it would be done at the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
“We may identify additional offices and personnel who might have information relevant to our review,” it said.
The announcement of the investigation comes days after the Pentagon announced it would investigate itself.