The Pentagon has reversed its decision to bar from military service anyone who has been hospitalized for coronavirus-related complications.
A May 6 policy instructed the military services to disqualify potential recruits who had been treated for COVID-19. But that policy didn’t take into account their specific health issues or what level of care they needed, Pentagon leaders said in rescinding the policy last week.
“That’s why it has to be taken on each individual case and examined by medical professionals,” Matthew Donovan, the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, told reporters Thursday, CQ reported.
Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman likened restrictions on past coronavirus patients to those who suffer other underlying conditions, Stars and Stripes reported.
“Asthma’s not an automatic disqualifier, but you look at what the impact is — can the person perform the mission when they join?” Hoffman said. “Like any other disease or underlying condition… they would have to be examined by a physician who would make a determination whether or not they could meet the standards for the force.”
The military will continue screening recruits with coronavirus symptoms, and anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will have to recover before beginning training.
Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Spencer Fling