(Headline USA) The transcript of the 911 call placed by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s team the day he was rushed to the hospital reveals the lengths to which he went to keep his condition a secret.
Austin was recently released from the hospital only after being kept in the intensive-care unit for days following complications from an elective surgical procedure related to his cancer diagnosis.
Reports revealed he had not informed others in the Pentagon or even the White House of his extended hospitalization, but instead told other Defense Department staffers that he was “working from home.”
When Austin was rushed to the hospital, his aides also took great pains to keep the news a secret.
“Can I ask—can the ambulance not show up with lights and sirens?” a staffer said in the recording, first obtained by the Daily Beast. “Um, we’re trying to remain a little subtle.”
The dispatcher agreed to the request, noting that “usually when they turn into a residential neighborhood, they’ll turn them off.” However, the operator added that Virginia law required EMTs to use the lights and sirens on major streets and intersections.
The transcript confirmed that Austin’s team intentionally wanted to hide the secretary’s condition—even from President Joe Biden, who reportedly learned of Austin’s hospitalization when it was publicly reported in the media.
This lack of transparency has prompted Republicans and even Democrats to demand Austin’s resignation.
“I have lost trust in Secretary Lloyd Austin’s leadership of the Defense Department due to the lack of transparency about his recent medical treatment and its impact on the continuity of the chain of command,” Rep. Chris Deluzio, D-Pa., who sits on the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement last week.
The White House, however, has said Biden has no intention of firing Austin.