The USPS in a statement blamed the ongoing pandemic and years-old financial problems for the nationwide delays.
An elderly Texas man says he had to go a week without his daily heart medication due to nationwide delays in mail delivery. 82-year-old Don White from Humble, Texas, told local news affiliate KHOU that he has never before experienced an inability to receive the drugs from the post office as long as he was in possession of a tracking number. However, when tracking his medication this time, he found that the package remained at a north Houston mail processing facility for 10 days. The senior citizen revealed that he has had to rely on his daughter to get him the medication from a local grocery store pharmacy due to this delay.
"There have been a few times in which it’s taken a week, week and a half, two weeks, but this is the first time I actually ran out and checking with the post office didn't do much good, even though I had a tracking number on it," he said. When contacted regarding the recent influx of complaints about delayed delivery times across the country — which has greatly impacted citizens like White who have come to rely even more on the service to deliver essentials during the pandemic — the USPS in a statement, blamed the ongoing health crisis and years-old financial problems.
"The Postal Service is flexing its available resources to match the workload created by the impacts of the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We appreciate the patience of our customers and apologize for any inconvenience that may have been experienced. We also appreciate the efforts of employees as conditions change on a day-to-day basis," said the statement. "The Postal Service has long-standing processes to align workforce to workload, including contingencies to respond to events like the COVID-19 pandemic... As the Postmaster-General recently reiterated, the Postal Service is in a financially unsustainable position, stemming from substantial declines in mail volume, and a broken business model."
Americans depend on the USPS for their medicine, for their small businesses, for their right to vote.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) August 16, 2020
But now, because of actions taken by President Trump & Postmaster DeJoy, unnecessary and devastating mail delays are roiling communities across the country.
We will fight this. pic.twitter.com/IlkYlsYmQ6
"We are currently unable to balance our costs with available funding sources to fulfill both our universal service mission and other legal obligations. Because of this, the Postal Service has experienced over a decade of financial losses, with no end in sight, and we face an impending liquidity crisis," it continued. "As we have repeatedly stated, Congress and the Postal Regulatory Commission must enact legislative and regulatory reforms to help address the situation. At the same time, it is imperative for the Postal Service to operate efficiently and effectively while continuing to provide service that meets the needs of our customers."
"I want our communities to understand where the delays are coming fr. &why there are delays. I want them to understand..we are out there fighting these changes every step of the way bc we know they're wrong." - Lori Cash, WNY Area Local President https://t.co/kdwCiBzSRs— APWU National (@APWUnational) August 14, 2020
According to The Hill, residents of numerous cities and counties have reported delays in mail delivery since Postmaster General Louis DeJoy began his efforts to reorganize the service and cut costs. Louis DeJoy — who became the first postmaster general in more than 20 years to not come from within the agency's own ranks after he was hired by President Trump — implemented several new measures in July to address the $160 billion budget shortfall at the USPS, including restrictions on the option of overtime for employees and the complete axing of additional trips to ensure mail is delivered on time, reports BBC.
Protesters gathered outside the postmaster general’s home this morning as the USPS warned about mail-in ballot delays and President Trump continued his attacks on voting by mail https://t.co/AhemmE1Izm pic.twitter.com/QG14qBZ5ju— CNN (@CNN) August 15, 2020
However, this has led to extreme levels of under-staffing and mail piling up in processing centers in many places. Like White, the staff at the Department of Veterans Affairs have also reported delays in veterans receiving medicine through the USPS. Meanwhile, President Trump refuses to support a proposed boost in funding for the Postal Service by reiterating his unproven claims that mail-in voting is too expensive and will lead to voter fraud.
Is there no institution Donald Trump won't politicize? By installing an unqualified major donor to lead @USPS, he's interfering with the timely delivery of medication to our Veterans & jeopardizing the integrity of our election. It's absolutely appalling.https://t.co/5S1PO7YMtD— Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) August 12, 2020