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Austin may need additional care

White House National Security spokesman John Kirby has said US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s doctors think he may still need some additional care.

Mr Austin, 70, was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland on 22 December to treat prostate cancer.

He returned to the hospital on 1 January due to complications, including a urinary tract infection and has remained there ever since.

“We’ll see, you know, when he can be released, but obviously they still feel like he may need some additional care … part of that is just physical therapy,” Mr Kirby told CBS’s ‘Face the Nation’.

Mr Kirby said “there is routine regular communication” between President Joe Biden and Mr Austin.

He added that the secretary remains “actively involved and engaged” from the hospital.

Mr Austin remains hospitalised and is in good condition, the Pentagon said on Saturday, adding that it did not yet have a specific date for his discharge.

President Joe Biden said on Friday that he has confidence in Mr Austin despite what Mr Biden agreed was a lapse in judgement by the Pentagon chief over his secret hospitalisation.

Mr Austin’s failure to tell Mr Biden he was hospitalised drew criticism from politicians and caught the White House by surprise.

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