- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 6, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has claimed a new population of victims: would-be military recruits.

According to Military Times, Pentagon spokeswoman Jessica Maxwell confirmed Wednesday as authentic a memo seen on social media that said persons who’ve had COVID-19 are disqualified from signing up.

“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,” the memo reads.

Potential recruits who test positive for the contagion may request a waiver, although Pentagon officials are still working on a clear-cut policy.

Military Times suggests that successful waiver requests are likely to be few and far between.

“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,” Military Times’ Pentagon bureau chief, Meghann Myers, noted.

The latest Johns Hopkins University tracking data on the virus includes over 1.2 million infected Americans out of a population of roughly 330 million.

Over 72,000 U.S. citizens have died as a result of virus as of Wednesday.

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