WASHINGTON — The United States Postal Service was preparing to distribute nearly 650 million face masks in April for the Trump administration before the White House nixed the plan, according to a report by the Washington Post.
Senior administration officials told The Washington Post the Trump Administration did not want to cause "concern or panic" in the U.S., according to an in-depth report by the Washington Post. The details were listed in nearly 10,000 pages of emails, legal memos, presentations and other documents given to the newspaper by the transparency group American Oversight.
CNN reported that the documents revealed the plan to send masks to every U.S. household was part of a partnership between the Postal Service, the White House Coronavirus Task Force, the Department of Health and Human Services and "a consortium of textile manufacturers."
The USPS had even drafted a press release to announce the shipment of masks in April, CNN and The Washington Post reported, and the plan was to focus on regions where "HHS has identified as experiencing high transmission rates of Covid-19."
The plan included distributing 650 million masks, enough to offer a pack of five reusable face coverings to every American household, the Washington Post said.
The Post said that at the time this plan was turned down, the HHS created a program to distribute masks to companies, healthcare facilities, and "faith-based and community organizations across the country.” This also took place as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was working on nationwide guidance that recommended everyone wear a face covering.