Senior Biden leaders, Pentagon officials unaware for days that defense secretary was hospitalized

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin makes a joint statement with Israel Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant, , Monday, Dec. 18, 2023, after their meeting about Israel’s military operation in Gaza, in Tel Aviv, Israel. (AP photo/ Maya Alleruzzo)

WASHINGTON — Senior Biden administration leaders, top Pentagon officials and members of Congress were unaware for days that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had been hospitalized since Monday, U.S. officials said Saturday, as questions swirled about his condition and the secrecy surrounding it.