The United States Postal Service (USPS) had plans of delivering face coverings to Americans in April as an early response to COVID-19.
The draft aimed to announce its plans to “distribute 650 million reusable cotton” face masks nationwide, the Washington Post reported.
However, the White House allegedly intercepted this plan, said the Post.
On behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the USPS was going to deliver the masks.
According to the draft, the USPS planned to begin distributing the masks in areas with high transmission rates and essential workers.
The Postmaster-General and CEO, Megan J. Brennan, said in the release that the USPS “is uniquely suited to undertake this historic mission.”
The draft release also shows that the White House Coronavirus Task Force knew about this.
However, the White House and the Office of the Vice President worried that distributing the masks “might create panic or concern,” an anonymous source told the Post.
Moreover, an HHS spokesperson told NBC News that Project America Strong had already distributed 600 million masks across the country.
The project has already stopped accepting new face mask requests and only prioritizing the most susceptible population, per its website.
Improper Release Of Documents?
The American Oversight, a US watchdog group obtained the USPS draft under the Freedom of Information Act, per the organization.
The draft release is also part of the nearly 10,000 pages of USPS documents obtained by the American Oversight.
However, on Thursday, the American Oversight released a statement saying the USPS requested them to “pull down the records.”
The organization agreed to remove the documents “for 24 hours” while waiting for USPS to specify the pages it deems “improperly released.”
The 10,000 pages USPS documents contain memos and emails, the conflict between Amazon and the Treasury Department, and the involvement of lawyers connected to Trump.