Neal, Pascrell Slam Trump Administration’s Decision to Block USPS Sending Reusable Face Masks to Americans
WASHINGTON, DC— Today, House Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) requested more information on the Trump Administration’s decision to block the United States Postal Service (USPS) from sending reusable face masks to every American. A draft press release obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) revealed a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and USPS initiative that would have delivered 650 million masks to every household in America, starting with the hardest-hit communities. The White House rejected this straightforward approach.
In a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, the Chairmen wrote: “This Administration’s failure to take actions that could have slowed the spread of the coronavirus, such as promoting broader reliance on face masks, continues to have fatal consequences for communities across the nation.”
“The American people deserve a federal government united in its mission to keep them and their families safe amidst this unprecedented pandemic. Rather than rely on the unique reach of the USPS to send masks directly to American households when it would have mattered most, this Administration instead has been consumed with its efforts to sabotage the USPS, potentially delaying people from getting their medicine, paying bills, or casting their vote by mail,” continued Neal and Pascrell. “Furthermore, the patchwork approach the Administration relied upon to distribute masks through various other channels, including nonprofits likely already stretched particularly thin amidst the pandemic, is emblematic of this Administration’s chaotic response to the pandemic more broadly.”
Neal and Pascrell requested HHS detail the rationale behind thwarting the effort and provide additional information on the Administration’s distribution of masks by October 1, 2020.
Read the full letter HERE.