Newly released United States Postal Service internal documents suggest the Trump administration nixed a plan to distribute five face masks to every U.S. household.
The plan to distribute approximately 650 million face masks was among nearly 10,000 pages of USPS documents obtained by the watchdog group, American Oversight. Emails, memos and correspondence document how postal workers feared for their safety during the pandemic and executives feared the loss of the agency's funding.
If the plan would have been approved, masks would have been distributed as early as April. Areas with high COVID-19 transmission rates such as King County in Washington and Wayne County in Michigan would have been the first to receive support.
"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," former postmaster general Megan J. Brennan said in the release.
In response to these newly released documents, a spokesperson from the U.S. Department of Human and Health Services pointed to "Project America Strong." As described, the project is a "part of a multi-prong approach to re-opening the American economy while limiting the spread of COVID-19." The Trump administration approved project has delivered approximately 600 million masks to nonprofits, state and federal agencies.
"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," an administration official said about the USPS proposal.
However, some members of the medical community believe the USPS proposal would have been more beneficial to the American public. Dr. Monica Gandhi of the University of California, San Francisco argues that sending masks to every household would have meant the government is saying "this is so important that we are going to put them in the mail and get them to you."
"No country but this one has resisted masking."
The USPS has declined to comment on the newly released documents.
Photo: Getty Images