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Report: CNO ‘fell ill,’ had heart surgery last month

The U.S. Navy’s top officer reportedly fell ill while on a run last month and underwent heart surgery soon after, according to a report Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal.

Navy officials did not immediately respond to requests for confirmation of the report.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday was running on the Washington Navy Yard base, where he lives, Aug. 10 when he “fell ill,” according to the Journal, which cited “several people familiar with the matter.”

Gilday was helped by a passing Marine and was taken to his physician, the Journal reports.

He underwent heart surgery for a pre-existing condition about two weeks later, the Journal reports, citing unnamed individuals.

The sea service hadn’t disclosed Gilday’s health issues or surgery until the Journal started asking questions.

The CNO “recently underwent a medical procedure for a pre-existing medical issue,” Gilday’s spokesman, Cmdr. Nathan Christensen, is quoted as saying in a statement Tuesday. "He is in good condition and returned to full duty yesterday in the Pentagon.

The Journal cites a “former military official familiar with the procedure” who said that physicians knew Gilday needed the surgery, but that the running episode expedited the need.

Gilday became CNO in August 2019.

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