There is a medical mystery unfolding in the Biden administration that is leading many to question whether or not the national security of the United States was jeopardized.
It was revealed on Friday that Defense Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spent time in the intensive care unit due to complications from an elective procedure – and the White House and most of the Pentagon were totally unaware until after the fact.
On Monday’s show, Megyn was joined by Daily Mail columnist Maureen Callahan to discuss the bizarre series of events and what it says about the Biden White House.
According to the Pentagon, Austin underwent an elective procedure on December 22 during a scheduled leave and returned home the same day. On the evening of January 1, the four-star general was taken to Walter Reed Medical Center after experiencing “severe pain.” He was later admitted to the ICU.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathy Hicks was on a planned trip to Puerto Rico when she assumed some of Austin’s responsibilities. Pentagon officials said that is a fairly standard practice that happens from time to time. What is not standard, however, is the fact that Hicks apparently did not find out her boss had been hospitalized.
Hicks is said to have learned of the Austin’s ICU stay on Thursday, which is the same day White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan was made aware. He, in turn, told President Joe Biden. The information was shared with members of Congress who have oversight of the Pentagon and the general public on Friday.
Austin’s chief of staff, Kelly Magsamen, was reportedly sick with the flu at the time of the hospitalization, which officials claim impacted the notification of Hicks and the White House. “There are 30,000 people at the Pentagon,” Megyn noted. “You couldn’t find one person to make a phone call for her so that the White House was briefed?”
Austin resumed his role of defense secretary on Friday night, though he remained at Walter Reed. The Pentagon has shared no information about his condition, the elective surgery, or what caused his ICU stay, citing privacy. “Not telling us is only going to lead to speculation about hair transplants, penile implants, weight loss surgery – that’s what the internet’s doing right now,” Megyn said. “He should just tell us. It would be far less embarrassing.”
For his part, Austin released a statement over the weekend about the communication breakdown. “I recognize I could have done a better job ensuring the public was appropriately informed,” he said. “I commit to doing better.”
‘This Is Suspicious’
In Callahan’s view, the White House owes the American people “quite an explanation” for what happened. “The world is on fire, Biden is off sunning himself in the Caribbean, [the] number two is off sunning herself in Puerto Rico and does not know [Austin is] in the hospital,” she explained. “I think that the problem going forward is this all blends into the narrative that we’ve got a White House being run by somebody who is napping half of the time.”
Megyn agreed. “There’s no way both Austin and his chief of staff were so incapacitated to the point where they couldn’t communicate the fact that he was in the intensive care unit while we have all this stuff happening in the Middle East, in Ukraine… in the Red Sea,” she said. “There is a duty to let the chain of command know. The national security adviser should have been advised. The president should have been advised. There’s no question.”
Speculation is that heads will roll over the incident, but it does not appear as though Austin himself is on the chopping block. A White House spokesperson said the president has “full confidence” in his defense secretary after speaking with him on Saturday. “How can he not be fired? Lloyd Austin made a screw up the level of Saturn,” Megyn said. “If there’s no accountability, someone’s going to pay politically – and that person is probably going to be Joe Biden.”
Ultimately, Megyn thinks something doesn’t add up. “No one domestically was here or in charge and there is a real question about whether we were in danger for the past week because the defense secretary was too embarrassed to tell people he had some sort of procedure that went wrong,” she concluded. “This is suspicious. That’s the bottom line.”
You can check out Megyn’s full interview with Callahan by tuning in to episode 697 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.