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US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin apologises for secret hospital stay | BBC News

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US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has apologised after failing to notify the chain of command when he was secretly admitted to a hospital in December.

Mr Austin, 70, was released earlier this month as he continues to recover from treatment for prostate cancer.

"I did not handle this right," he said. "I should have told the president about my cancer diagnosis."

Pentagon chiefs are supposed to be available at a moment's notice to handle any national security crisis.

The defence secretary is just below the president in the chain of command for the US military, and is regarded as one of the most important members of the Cabinet.

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