The Pentagon may no longer accept new recruits who have recovered from COVID-19, according to multiple reports.
A memo released by the United States Military Entrance Processing Command that is circulating on Twitter states that a history of COVID-19 confirmed by a laboratory test or clinical diagnosis is “permanently disqualifying.”
“During the screening process, a reported history of confirmed COVID-19 will be annotated ‘Considered disqualifying’“ pic.twitter.com/ZKx91AUbXo— Free (@Nathaniel_Free) May 4, 2020
A Pentagon spokeswoman confirmed to Military Times, which first reported on the new policy, that the memo is authentic.
Applicants who fail screening won’t be tested but can return in 14 days if they are symptom-free, Military Times reported, citing the memo. Applicants who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 will have to wait 28 days after the diagnosis to report for a screening, based on the memo.
After returning, a COVID-19 diagnoses will be marked “permanently disqualifying,” according to the memo.
Recruits can apply for waivers for all permanently disqualifying conditions, but without further guidance for exceptions dealing with COVID-19, a review authority would not have justification to grant a waiver, Military Times notes.
A defense official confirmed to CNN that the Pentagon is considering the ban on recruiting COVID-19 survivors. The official told the outlet the guidance is being put in place because there is little understanding of the long-term effects of the virus.
The Hill reached out to the Pentagon for comment.