Postal Service's plan to send 650M face masks to Americans allegedly nixed by White House

The proposal to have USPS send masks to American households was reportedly nixed by the White House.

9/18/2020 4:56:00 AM

U.S. Postal Service's plan to send 650 million face masks to Americans allegedly nixed by White House.

The proposal to have USPS send masks to American households was reportedly nixed by the White House.

Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesThe United States Postal Service drafted plans to distribute 650 million reusable cotton face masks to Americans last spring -- five to every household -- as the country grappled with the first wave of the

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outbreak, according to USPS internal documents obtained by a watchdog group.The draft was among nearly 10,000 pages of USPS documentsturned over to American Oversightin response to a Freedom of Information Act request. The emails, memos and legal correspondence released illustrate how the agency struggled to address the pandemic in its earliest weeks, as front-line postal workers feared for their safety and executives worried about disruptions to the agency's service and funding.

According to the draft release,the agency, working with the Department of Health and Human Services, would first send masks to areas with high COVID-19 transmission rates at the time -- including Louisiana's Orleans and Jefferson parishes; King County, Washington; New York; and Wayne County, Michigan.

"Our organization is uniquely suited to undertake this historic mission of delivering face coverings to every American household in the fight against the COVID-19 virus," the then-postmaster general and CEO, Megan J. Brennan, said in the prepared release.

The White House declined to comment on the draft proposal, referring questions to the Department of Health and Human Services, which did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for the Postal Service did not respond to a message seeking comment.

"There was concern from some in the White House Domestic Policy Council and the office of the vice president that households receiving masks might create concern or panic," one administration official told The Washington Post about the proposal.

MORE: How the Postal Service became a flashpoint ahead of the 2020 electionInstead, the initiative, announced by the Trump administration under the"Project: America Strong," was a more targeted program to send face masks to critical infrastructure sectors, companies and health care, community and religious organizations.

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The program is no longer accepting new requests for face masks, according to its website, and instead encourages applicants to purchase face masks elsewhere or make their own.President Donald Trumpsaid on Aug. 12 that the government would also send 120 million face masks to schools ahead of the fall.

"The Postal Service connects every single person in American, and the president could have used it for public health, but he didn't," Austin Evers, the executive director of American Oversight, told ABC News, calling out Trump."An opportunity to deliver science-based public health tools to every person in the country was lost."

Anna Moneymaker/New York Times, Pool via APAdm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary of Health and Human Services,, Robert Kadlec, assistant secretary of Health and Human Services for Preparedness and Response, and Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention testify at a hearing with the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, on Capitol Hill, Sept. 16, 2020.

Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary of Health and Human Services,, Robert Kadlec, assistant secretary of Health and Human Services for Preparedness and Response, and Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention testify at a hearing with the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, on Capitol Hill, Sept. 16, 2020.

"Giving out masks to everyone doesn't mean that people will necessarily wear them, but it does send a strong message that mask wearing is a public health imperative," Dr. Leana Wen, a public health professor at George Washington University and former health commissioner of Baltimore, told ABC News.

Trump has been criticized by public health experts for failing to aggressively promote the widespread use of masks across the country to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.While the White House claims Trump supports mask wearing, he initially downplayed needing to wear one himself, and said he couldn't imagine sitting behind the Resolute Desk with a mask on.

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He wasn't seen wearing a mask in public until July, when he visited wounded service members at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and tweeted that wearing a mask was"patriotic."But he continued sending mixed messages on the subject this week. After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director, Robert Redfield, told Congress on Wednesday that masks might offer better protection than a vaccine from COVID-19 -- comparing the research about the effectiveness of masks to the unknown efficacy of the vaccines still in development -- Trump told reporters Redfield"made a mistake" with his comments.

"A lot of people think that masks are not good," Trump said in an ABC News town hall with undecided voters on Tuesday.MORE: How the Postal Service became a flashpoint ahead of the 2020 electionWhen pressed on his comments by ABC News' chief anchor, George Stephanopoulos, Trump only said he had heard that from"waiters."

"Our entire response has been hampered by mixed messaging," Wen told ABC News."At this point, it's way beyond mixed messaging, we're talking about an absolutely disruptive message that goes against public health."USPS itself has also struggled to keep its workforce healthy. In a video released Thursday, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy revealed that more than 11,000 USPS employees have contracted COVID-19 to date -- and 87 of those infected have died.

DeJoy, who took control of the beleaguered agency in June, has come under immense scrutiny in recent months after a set of cost-cutting initiatives slowed mail delivery service during the summer months. Read more: ABC News »

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nycsouthpaw Who stopped it, News? Hmm nixed by WH and when trump was asked he said he has no idea, he doesn't run the post office, or some nonesense lyingtrump is UnfitToBePresident and needs to go With the administration putting the axe to it gives us another example of a Trump failure, instead he went the 'it will just all go away' route

Click on this link, like this cutie Thk u💋🌻 lillydog17 He wanted us sick? He’s a madman! Smart Imagine the lives it could’ve saved. well the article says that instead of sending them to US households they sent them to organizations (religious/community, business, and health care). But they only sent out 600 million. apparently it was to avoid a panic lol

Drafted is the key word. Then realized, Oh Shit! We can’t handle that. Those trash motherfuckers can’t do nothing right they’d probably sent them to the wrong country. it’s 6:47 PM on Saturday and I still haven’t got my mail My guess is Kushner was behind this decision. 😷 Neither the best nor brightest. It is what it is at this point. We either let the Trumpsters put the joke that is Trump back in the WH or we don’t. Vote!!!

They have time and capacity for defective masks but not for ballots? Ok why in the fuck is USPS trying to get into the mask business? It's not their function and they are broke and losing money daily. But the dems just gobble gobble gobble... Trump wants to kill kids gobble gobble gobble.... Wake up idiots.

let me tell you how this is going to go 1) this story gains traction 2) becomes the latest 'bombshell' 3) more anonymous sources come out 4) actual on the record sources refute this 5) in 3 weeks its fully proven untrue 6) abc doesn't issue a correction 7) new fake bombshell Who's the liberal at the post office that came up with that one

But what for? We've all been MANDATED to wear them for MONTHS. We have plenty. Why What a terrific idea Of course . realDonaldTrump thought it was a 'democratic hoax' Allegedly And instead sent them 'to critical infrastructure sectors, companies and health care, community and religious organizations.' Disgusting. How many lives that could have saved! VoteBlueToEndThisNightmare

but i thought the postal service was all clogged up and Trump was trying to stop Dems from voting because they are scared? 😢 Hello fam add me on snapchat: tomholland590 📲:7075302022 order your top shelf cannabis and other thc products Too little too late. 👎 😂 Omg 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️ yeah ok 🙄🙄🙄 So the federal PPE stockpile is going to be used to clog-up the postal system?

Good. What a fucking Orwellian waste of $ that would’ve been... Shows trump doesn't care about us. ¯\\_(ツ)_/¯ How dictatorial smh That sounds very far-fetched. Since when did the postal service get into the mask distribution service? Chinese virologist: China's government 'intentionally' released COVID-19 Twitter suspended her account after 2 days she just created, unbelievable!!! Everyone should know this truth to save yourself, Chinese people, and the world!

That must have been before dejoy Good! Go Trump2020 “Allegedly” - Anonymous Sources 😡😡😡 That would have saved 100,000 lives. Too bad Trump has no brain Where was the post office getting these mask? They didn’t have enough PPE for their own employees. Trump took all the joy out of the Post Office. Now it’s time to take DeJoy out of it.

And DeJoy probably collected them all up himself and presented them to Trump Was it only me !!! It took Amazon 40 days to get me few masks “ from China “. I would of been so happy to receive masks in the mail. 🤨 I thought the Post Office was broke Why should our tax money be spend on sending masks to people who already have masks? I see people from all walks of life who buy or make their own masks and wear them into the stores. Use that money for other important things.

they are going bankrupt and is millions in debt and is begging for a bail out and they want to do this they dont have the money and they need it for their employees Isnt the state governor's suppose to handle this? trump wanted to SELL them. It will probably be like the democratic mail in votes where a household receives like 30.

Downplay the virus and withhold protective equipment. He's just trying to kill Americans. 197,000 dead Americans. Trump could have saved many lives by advocating masks and distancing. And now the rallies for niave followers. Terrible leadership. Why would they want to send unsolicited masks to everyone? If they have the money to squander on something like that, then why are they asking the government for money? VoteInPerson2020 Trump2020

Johnny come lately Seems like a colossal waste of money for an organization under financial strain. Masks cost almost nothing and readily available. most of this was preventable. the human suffering, the economic damage, the lost opportunity cost. we have fallen behind the rest of the world; they learned the lessons quickly, and responded rationally. we'd be so much closer to normal now if we had masked up early then.

The same people Trump refuses to give a hand shake News way behind on progress of the ending is near for this pandemic virus that hit this country as the 1918 spanish flu that brought more pronlems than this one because of the LEADER WE HAVE IN THE USA WHITE HOUSE thanks to God in Christ Jesus name 🐑➕👑🎇🌹💝👍

Well, that's Trump for you... waste of taxpayers money And the USPS will continue to be in the red The government is to dumb to make money They pay some enormous retirements It's like a Congress Senate retirement Janicep85915230 So who has the masks? Jared But is it a political ploy? Bad that I've lost trust in American Institutions.

WHY? That administration is filled with psychopaths. This country just isn't the same. There just isn't any Joy Why are you saying “allegedly “? Do we have those masks? No we don’t! So it HAS BEEN nixed by WH! Pro Life President my ass.... Good; not wanted. What evil. ImVotingForBiden Vote VoteBlueToSaveAmerica VoteEarly American USA COVID19 Coronavirus CoronavirusPandemic Biden BidenHarrisToSaveAmerica Biden2020 BidenHarris Family Community Businesses

That WHOLE administration is pure EVIL! Good quit wasting tax payer $$ how could anyone be for this? TrumpIsATraitor TrumpIsANationalDisgrace TrumpKnewAndDidNothing TrumpHasBloodOnHisHands Criminal! What a waste of money that would've been. The reasons why many Americans refuse to wear masks Is this the next bullshit story? Where the Mexican border hysterectomy concoction go?

Warning: Trump won't hesitate to act irresponsibly if he thinks it will help him politically in his re-election chances. Decency and honor have constrained other presidents, but they won't constrain Trump. Trump +Trumpism are the greatest threat to our country +our way of life. Allegedly hell Good This guy promised to remove the President shame on him I think riots it's him the mastermind

Fake news media word of the week 'ALLEGEDLY' Beware of fake news. It's all fabricated nonsense. Trump is literally trying to kill people. ABC news wouldn't pay for the masks! Maybe if they'd offered to include a Trump Gift Store flyer? Money would be good, too. Still waiting for my tax return from these clowns.

One more reason... Disinfect the Oval Office Joe is on his way to white house Its Biden on Nov the 3rd! 👇👇👇 Treasonous traitor tRump

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The White House and the CDC have very different timelines on a COVID vaccine'I think we're probably looking at late second quarter, third quarter 2021,' CDC Director Robert Redfield said when asked about a potential COVID-19 vaccine. you mean the -I want to get re elcted one and the real one? No kidding!

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Trump confirms White House staff member tested positive for Covid-19Questions had arisen earlier in the day about another Covid-19 infection at the White House, when a journalist there reported hearing about 'a couple of positives today.' Too bad it wasn’t him! So? One ☝️ so probably 30.

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