Garland set for surgery, confirms US Justice Department.

Attorney General Merrick Garland is set to undergo back surgery this weekend, with the Justice Department announcing that he will temporarily delegate his duties to the deputy attorney general during the procedure. The surgery, expected to last around 90 minutes, will be performed under general anesthesia and is described as a “minimally invasive” operation, according to Xochitl Hinojosa, the director of public affairs at the Justice Department. Following the surgery, Garland is anticipated to return home on the same day. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco will assume his responsibilities before, during, and for a short period after the procedure, allowing Garland time to recover from the anesthesia. The attorney general is expected to resume his duties during the week of February 5.

This announcement comes as Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also returned to the Pentagon after an absence of nearly a month. Austin had recently undergone a surgical procedure for cancer on December 22. Although he was initially discharged, he was readmitted to intensive care a few days later due to severe pain. The lack of immediate disclosure regarding his health condition prompted ongoing reviews, as well as changes in federal guidelines to ensure that the White House is promptly informed in situations where Cabinet chiefs are unable to carry out their duties. The Justice Department has adhered to the new guidelines, notifying the White House of Garland’s plans to temporarily delegate his responsibilities, as confirmed by White House spokeswoman Olivia Dalton.

In a similar vein, when Attorney General Garland had a routine medical procedure in 2022, his office proactively informed the public a week in advance, providing details regarding the expected duration of his absence and his planned return to work.

Attorney General Merrick Garland will undergo back surgery this weekend and delegate his duties to Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco during the procedure. The surgery is expected to be minimally invasive and Garland is expected to return to work the week of February 5. This announcement follows a recent disclosure controversy involving Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

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