DOD Policy Will Medically Disqualify New Recruits If Hospitalized for COVID-19

In this picture taken Saturday, Oct. 17, 2009, U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Steven Kwast, commander of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing, walks on the flight line before piloting an F-15E Strike Eagle at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan. Kwast is the top U.S. Air Force officer at this sprawling …
AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo

The Department of Defense on Wednesday enacted a new policy medically disqualifying potential recruits who have been hospitalized for coronavirus (COVID-19), a defense official told Breitbart News on background.

The policy states that individuals diagnosed or confirmed with coronavirus “but NOT hospitalized” are “medically QUALIFIED” to process for accession into the military 28 days following home isolation.

However, it states that individuals diagnosed or confirmed with COVID19 “but HOSPITALIZED” are “medically DISQUALIFIED” for accession, subject to further review of their hospitalization and comorbidity records, and a waiver by a Service Medical Waiver Authority.

In other words, anybody that has been hospitalized with COVID-19 will be medically disqualified and would need a service waiver to join the military.

The policy began on May 6, 2020, — and does not apply to any currently serving service member who has already been diagnosed or confirmed to have coronavirus, or hospitalized from coronavirus.

A memo describing the new policy began circulating on social media earlier this week, as first reported by Military Times. The defense official said that version was updated on Wednesday.

The official said the Pentagon has enacted this policy because there is still much to learn about how coronavirus — especially for those hospitalized — affects an individual’s pulmonary system and organs.

The official noted that there are a number of disqualifying conditions for military service subject to medical waiver, such as asthma. A full list of disqualifying conditions can be found here. COVID-19 hospitalizations will be added to the list, the official said.

The policy is “interim guidance.” Permanent guidance will be issued at some point, the official said.

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