There is a U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command memo circulating on social media that shows that coronavirus survivors might be barred from joining the military under the new Department of Defense guidelines. In the memo, it reads, “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.”
And according to Military Times, the memo is authentic.
The outlet also adds, “Given the limited research on COVID-19, there are likely a few factors that military medical professionals are trying to hash out when it comes to recruiting survivors: Whether respiratory damage from the virus is long-lasting or permanent, and whether that can be assessed; the likelihood of recurring flare-ups, even if someone has had two consecutive negative tests; and the possibility that one bout of COVID-19 might not provide full immunity for the future, and could potentially leave someone at a higher risk to contract it again, perhaps with worse complications.”
There is currently a petition to change the policy too. It reads, “Given the fact that the large majority of people within the United States will contract COVID-19, this provision has the implications to severely damage our national security by destroying our military’s ability to fill its ranks.” The petition also states, “Thousands of service members from all branches have already contracted COVID-19 and therefore the ban on COVID-19 survivors from entering the military is a contradictory policy. Lastly, this ban has the potential to damage the career aspirations and livelihoods of thousands of young people who wish to serve their country.”
Per the New York Post, as of right now, the coronavirus has already spread to at least 5,000 service members.