Audio obtained from 911 call for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin

Audio from Lloyd Austin 911 call obtained
Audio obtained from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's 911 call 02:21

Audio of the 911 call made on behalf of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Jan. 1 reveals that Austin's staff encouraged the dispatcher to keep the ambulance presence "subtle" as the secretary was taken to the hospital due to complications from surgery for prostate cancer.

CBS News obtained the audio through a public information request to the Fairfax County Department of Public Safety Communications. The Daily Beast first reported the contents of the call. 

"I'm requesting an ambulance to be taken [redacted]," the caller tells the dispatcher. 

"Can I ask that, can the ambulance not show up with lights and sirens? We're trying to remain a little subtle," the caller adds.

The caller asks the dispatcher if it's possible to take Austin to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. 

Much of the call is redacted, including the caller's name, Austin's symptoms and Austin's name. 

Austin's failure to report his hospitalization — which included time in the intensive care unit — to the White House and his failure to disclose to President Biden that he had prostate cancer have become a public lesson in how not to handle a crisis in Washington. President Biden last week said that "yes," Austin showed a lapse in judgment in failing to tell him about the situation sooner. 

Austin was only released from the hospital on Monday, two weeks after he was taken in an ambulance to Walter Reed to address an infection related to the surgery. Austin underwent an initial surgery to treat and cure prostate cancer on Dec. 22, unbeknownst to the White House. 

Austin's doctors in a statement released by the Pentagon on Monday said Austin is "expected to make a full recovery."

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