Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Leading Democrats of the House oversight and reform committee requested Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Tuesday to brief them on the thousands of postal workers who have been infected with COVID-19.
Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney, chairwoman of the oversight and reform committee, and Rep. Gerald Connolly, chairman of the subcommittee on government operations, sent a letter to DeJoy seeking a briefing on the matter and to be informed of what the federal agency is doing to protect its employees from the virus.
The Democratic pair pointed to several reports and government documents as reason for their concern, including most recently a report from The Washington Post citing data from the American Postal Workers Union that said more than 16,000 USPS employees were under quarantine last week after either testing positive for COVID-19 or coming in to contact with a positive case.
That data followed DeJoy sending a letter in late December to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in which he said 119 employees had died to the virus and more than 14,000 had contracted it nationwide and a Postal Service Office of Inspector General report in November on the agency's inadequate implementation of preventative and treatment measures for its employees from COVID-19.
"In view of these troubling reports, we request a briefing by March 1, 2021, on COVID-19 infections and deaths affecting postal workers, as well as the impact on mail service that the pandemic has had," they said.
Maloney and Connolly said they also seek information on proposals to improve transparency at the agency concerning the toll the pandemic has had on employees and information on what it has done to implement the recommendations it received from the inspector general.