Harder Pushes USPS to Prioritize Swift Medical Deliveries as Service Delays Continue

September 16, 2020
Press Release
More than 500,000 People in SJ Valley Have Asthma, Must Wait for Meds

WASHINGTON – In response to continuing service delay issues with the United States Postal Service (USPS), Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) has sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, urging the service to address delays of life-saving medicines. Despite promises from the Postmaster General to resolve service issues, deliveries of medicine to Central Valley residents continue to be delayed. The problem is uniquely concerning in the Valley, where more than half a million people have asthma.

“I’ve heard from people across the Valley who have asthma, diabetes, and other health concerns and are still facing delays in the delivery of their life-saving medicines,” said Rep. Harder. “The Postmaster General needs to get it together and do his job. People’s lives literally depend on it.”

Representative Harder voted in August to pass the Delivering for America Act, which would require the postal service to return to the service levels it provided at the beginning of the year. It would also allocate $25 billion to protect operations and ensure mail is delivered on time.

The text of the letter is below and an original version is available here.


Dear Postmaster General DeJoy,

I write today to urge you to address the potentially deadly U.S. Postal Service (USPS) delays affecting my constituents and Americans who are waiting for the delivery of their life-saving mail-order prescription drugs.

Constituents in my district with chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes are in desperate need of their medications – which due to the pandemic – are often delivered instead of picked up. I’ve already heard from dozens of people who have waited weeks for their insulin or asthma medication because of the postal delays. This is simply unacceptable, especially as my home state of California is battling various wildfires – leading to unprecedented unhealthy air quality levels. In my district, the air quality index has reached rates as high as 170, considered unhealthy by the Environmental Protection Agency. Constituents with asthma are even more at risk of these air quality levels. This is especially troubling to me since the Central Valley already has one of the worst air quality rates in the country coupled with one of the highest childhood asthma rates in the country, with approximately 550,000 San Joaquin Valley residents having asthma, 105,000 of whom are children. With one in six children affected by asthma and nearly ten percent of adults in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties having diabetes, it is critical my constituents have timely access to their medications.

A recent Senate report found that many Americans are facing delays in the delivery of their mail-order prescription drugs. The delays have been especially serious this summer, with all of the mail-order pharmacies that rely heavily on USPS for delivery, reporting an increase in average delivery times, ranging from eighteen to thirty-two percent, sometimes delayed by as much as a full week. The delays can have a direct impact on health outcomes. Delivering life-saving drugs impacts everyone from children and seniors to our veterans. In these unprecedented times, it is vital to address the delivery delays to avoid putting the health of Americans in danger.

It is my hope that you will quickly address the delays in mail-order prescription drugs. I look forward to working with you to ensure the timely delivery of much-needed medications to my constituents.