If you’ve watched or read the news in the last few days, you probably know the Postal Service is a key part of the White House’s plan to get COVID tests to every American household that wants them. USPS is responsible for taking orders through its website and delivering up to four free COVID test kits to every household in the country. Did you know this isn’t USPS’s first time playing an essential role in a national emergency?

As we discussed in this report, the Postal Service, and the Post Office Department before it, has played a variety of roles over the years in national emergencies — from distributing the smallpox vaccine in the 1800s to distributing educational supplies during the 1918 influenza pandemic, and helping uprooted Hurricane Katrina survivors update their addresses. Most recently, early in the COVID-19 pandemic, USPS worked with other government agencies to distribute, store, and deliver personal protection equipment.  

USPS is well positioned to provide other types of essential services as well. In this paper, we discussed how the public may benefit from USPS playing a larger role in wellness activities. We’ve also looked into the ways USPS could use its existing network to provide government services such as ID verification and broadband connectivity.  

Tell us what you think. Are there other ways USPS could use its existing network to benefit the nation? 

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  • anon

    Sounds like good philosophy. However, the USPS computer systems and business model have proven to be too inflexible to be utilized for sensitive and fluctuating personal circumstances throughout the Country. Your topic also challenges the role of the States' vital, ID, licensing, and voter records management. The USPS should only deliver stuff.

    Jan 31, 2022

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