Furious Pentagon Official Blames Top General’s Hospitalization on Tuberville

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The hospitalization of the Marine Corps’ overworked top officer is being blamed directly on Sen. Tommy Tuberville by some at the Pentagon, with one official emerging to call the Alabama legislator’s ongoing blockade on senior military promotions “outrageous.” Gen. Eric Smith, weeks deep into working what he called unsustainable hours without a second in command, was hospitalized on Sunday evening after suffering an unspecified medical emergency. Citing two defense officials, the United States Naval Institute reported that he had a suspected heart attack. A defense official told Politico on Wednesday, “I cannot help but think—because at the end of the day, Eric Smith is a human—that Tuberville’s unnecessary stress that he’s put on the situation where you don’t have a backup… has added a level of complexity and danger to an already bad situation.” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer lambasted Tuberville for protesting the Pentagon’s travel abortion policy with the blockade, saying on Tuesday that the hospitalization “shows why it’s supremely risky to play politics with military appointments.” The Marines said Smith was stable and recovering in a D.C. hospital on Wednesday.

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