BREAKING: Postmaster General to Suspend Any Changes to USPS Until After Election

Postboxes in Chatsworth, CA (courtesy: Edmund Biro)
Photo credit Postboxes in Chatsworth, CA (courtesy: Edmund Biro)

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced Tuesday that the U.S. Postal Service will not suspend its operational changes such as removing mailboxes, and processing equipment until after the presidential election on November 3. 

Hoping to allay fears of Americans that USPS will not be able to handle mail-in voting, DeJoy added that there will be no changes to retail hours at Post Offices and overtime has, and will continue to be, approved as needed for workers. 

Those concerns included veterans who have faced long wait times -- sometimes weeks -- to receive their prescriptions, medical equipment, and other important mail from the Department of Veterans Affairs, such as medical testing results and benefits decisions. 

Department of Veterans Affairs prescriptions mailed by the U.S. Postal Service in the past year have seen delays of nearly 25%, the federal agency recently told Disabled American Veterans. 

“The United States Postal Service will play a critical role this year in delivering election mail for millions of voters across the country. There has been a lot of discussion recently about whether the Postal Service is ready, willing and able to meet this challenge," DeJoy wrote in a statement on the USPS website."The Postal Service is ready today to handle whatever volume of election mail it receives this fall. Even with the challenges of keeping our employees and customers safe and healthy as they operate amid a pandemic, we will deliver the nation’s election mail on time and within our well-established service standards. The American public should know that this is our number one priority between now and election day. The 630,000 dedicated women and men of the Postal Service are committed, ready and proud to meet this sacred duty," DeJoy's statement reads. 

Four days ago, Joe Biden received the endorsement of the National Association of Letter Carriers, a union that encompasses nearly 300,000 active and retired postal workers. 

"Vice President Biden is — was — and will continue to be — a fierce ally and defender of the United States Postal Service (USPS), letter carriers, and our fellow postal brothers and sisters," NALC President Fredric Rolando said in a statement, according to NBC News. "This pandemic threatens the very survival of USPS," Rolando added. 

Facing a public backlash over mail delays, the Trump administration scrambled to respond Monday as the House prepared an emergency vote to halt delivery interruptions and service changes that Democrats warned could imperil the November election.

A few social media posts have been circulating that appear to show mailboxes around California appearing to be locked, feeding fears that the United States Postal Service (USPS) is being undermined ahead of the presidential election.

One photo on Facebook that's been widely shared, shows a set of postboxes in Burbank that look as if they've been locked.

NEW: Postmaster Louis DeJoy says he will suspend USPS changes that have prompted concern about mail delays until after the election “to avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail”

— Jordan Fabian (@Jordanfabian) August 18, 2020