United States Postal Service (USPS) emails show that the Trump administration originally planned in April to mail 5 reusable masks to every household in the country before shifting the personal protective equipment allotment to critical frontline workers and organizations.
The emails, obtained by a watchdog group through the Freedom of Information Act and first reported by The Washington Post, included a USPS draft press release announcing the shipment of 650 million masks to every home in America, complete with quotes from former Postmaster General Megan Brennan. (RELATED: Recordings Capture Trump Admitting He Knowingly Downplayed Coronavirus From January To March)
“The U.S. Postal Service today announced it will distribute 650 million reusable cotton face coverings on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to every residential delivery point in America, beginning in areas which HHS has identified as experiencing high transmission rates of COVID-19 and to workers providing essential services throughout the nation during this pandemic,” the draft reads. “Orleans and Jefferson parishes in Louisiana will be the first areas to receive face coverings, followed by King County, WA; Wayne County, MI, and New York.”
“The Postal Service will utilize its unrivaled distribution network to deliver the face coverings. Letter carriers, rural carriers and others will deliver one pack of five face coverings to each residential delivery point and PO Box,” the draft continued. “The packs will arrive labeled with a generic Postal Service barcode, not a specific address, and will include HHS instructions on proper use.”
Administration officials told the Post that the announcement was scrapped after the Department of Health and Human Services decided instead to ship the allotted PPE to medical facilities, companies, and other groups on the frontlines of the pandemic. The operation was dubbed “Project America Strong,” and one official noted that the shift in strategy came from a belief “that households receiving masks might create concern or panic.”
The Post’s report comes after tapes were published from interviews between Bob Woodward and President Donald Trump, in which the president can be heard saying he downplayed the severity of coronavirus to avoid a national panic.
“To be honest with you,” Trump says on the recording, “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”
The administration did not return Daily Caller’s additional inquiries on the subject by press time.