Elizabeth Warren and Robert Casey Jr have launched their own probe into the Trump administration’s changes to the US Postal Service, to understand how those changes have impacted patients who receive prescription drugs by mail.
The top Senate Democrats sent a series of letters to leading drug companies and national pharmacies seeking information about the time it typically takes patients to receive their prescription drugs by mail, among other questions.
“Millions of Americans with diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, asthma, and other chronic conditions, illnesses or health care needs rely on the USPS for delivery of their prescription drugs and are at grave risks if President Trump’s efforts to degrade mail service results in delays and disruptions,” the letter read. “These health threats are magnified by the ongoing pandemic.”
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Many senior citizens, veterans and other patients who otherwise cannot pick up their prescriptions at a pharmacy rely on the USPS to receive their medications on time, as the Washington Post noted in its report on the Democrat-led inquiry.
News of the probe comes as Postmaster General Louis DeJoy — a donor to President Donald Trump tasked to lead the USPS despite not having any postal office experience — was meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to discuss the announced changes, which he has since said would be delayed until after the November election amid mounting criticism.
The postmaster general was testifying on Friday before the Republican-led Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, with another hearing scheduled for next week before the Democrat-led House Oversight Committee.
Mr DeJoy said on Friday there was “no intention” to return mail sorting machines that were removed in recent weeks, after it was reported that at least 671 machines were removed in critical voting states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin and Georgia, among others.
The postmaster general said those machines were “not needed”, while adding that he supports vote-by-mail efforts amid the pandemic.
Mr DeJoy said on Friday: “I think the American public should be able to vote by mail.”
Democrats have meanwhile slammed Mr DeJoy for his policy changes to the USPS, adding that his vow not to implement those changes ahead of the election was “vague”.
Ms Warren and Mr Casey Jr reportedly sent their letters to the parents company for Walgreens and Duane Read, as well as prescription drug companies like Cigna Corp, CVS Health, UnitedHealth Group and other providers.