U.S. military bans coronavirus survivors from joining
The new rules separates coronavirus from similar viral illnesses that don’t prevent applicants from joining the military, according to a recent Military Times article.
More than a million Americans have tested positive for coronavirus since the pandemic began several weeks ago, but the U.S. military is closing its ranks to anyone who has caught and survived the infection.
According to new guidance from a memo sent by the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command, any new applicants found to have a past coronavirus diagnosis will be barred from the service.
“During the medical history interview or examination, a history of COVID-19, confirmed by either a laboratory test or a clinician diagnosis, is permanently disqualifying," reads the memo.
As the Military Times notes, this new rules separates coronavirus from similar viral illnesses that don’t prevent applicants from joining the military. Recruits with a diagnosis could still apply for a waiver, as they could with any permanently disqualifying condition, but in the absence of any further guidance from officials so far on how to handle these cases, there’s no way that these could be granted.
Pentagon spokeswoman Jessica Maxwell declined to explain the reasoning for the ban to the Military Times, but the publication speculations on a few possible justifications. Those include the damage that coronavirus can do to a person’s lungs and the still-unknown risk of reinfection.