Hours after saying that testing optimistic for COVID-19 disqualifies for army service, the Pentagon has modified its coverage.The unique memo mentioned that anybody who had been identified with the virus couldn’t serve.Revised pointers, issued on Thursday, bar solely those that needed to go to the hospital for COVID-19 associated therapy.
The Pentagon is strolling again a coverage that will have completely disqualified these identified with COVID-19 from becoming a member of the armed forces. Earlier this week, a army memo acknowledged that these “with a historical past” of COVID-19—that means a optimistic analysis—have been barred for all times from becoming a member of the army. Inside hours, a brand new coverage was introduced that solely bars those that sought therapy for the virus in a hospital, permitting those that have been sickened and later recovered to enlist.
The unique memo was posted to social media on Might 6:
The memo was later confirmed by the Pentagon as real.
The memo outlined new procedures for Navy Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS), areas throughout the nation that course of potential recruits for the U.S. armed companies. Below the rules, MEPS throughout the nation would display all newcomers for COVID-19 upon arrival. The screening, Navy Occasions explains, would include “taking a temperature and answering questions on signs and potential contact.”
If a possible recruit failed the screening, they might have needed to go dwelling however might return to MEPS once more in fourteen days for one more screening–if they didn’t have signs. A COVID-19 analysis at any level in an individual’s life can be “completely disqualifying” for army service.
The memo prompted howls of disbelief on social media. As of Might 7, the U.S. has had 1.7 million COVD-19 circumstances, with 173,000 individuals recovered. That quantity is anticipated to develop, and a few scientists imagine the pandemic might stretch properly into 2022.
The coverage threatened to shrink what’s already an unusually small pool of recruits for a rustic of 320 million. Seventy-one p.c of People between the ages of 17 and 24 are ineligible to hitch the army attributable to “weight problems, lack of a highschool diploma, or a prison file.” Together with the coronavirus on the listing would solely serve to make wholesome individuals—who have been solely briefly unhealthy—incapable of serving their nation.
Critics of the coverage rapidly identified that these within the army’s main recruiting age group are the least affected by the virus. For instance the plane provider USS Theodore Roosevelt, manned largely by individuals beneath the age of 30, had roughly 1,000 sailors take a look at optimistic for COVID-19. Of these 1,000 solely 9 have been hospitalized and one died. Between February 1 and Might 5 solely 48 individuals between the ages of 15 and 24 died of the coronavirus in the whole U.S.
The day after the memo was launched the Pentagon introduced new pointers. The brand new guidelines enable these with a COVID-19 analysis of their previous to enlist as long as they weren’t admitted to the hospital. This can be a far more cheap coverage, giving survivors an opportunity to enlist whereas barring those who skilled problems, which might embrace lung and different types of organ injury.
The U.S. Navy has not operated throughout a pandemic for greater than a century, the final being the 1918-1920 Spanish Influenza outbreak. The Pentagon is making an attempt to maintain the armed companies manned to the best diploma potential whereas defending the power from COVID-19, and errors are inevitable.
Supply: Navy Occasions
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