Video: NRLCA Calls for Restoration of Bioterrorism Protection Program

ALEXANDRIA, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–September 10, 2013–

In the weeks and months following the September 11 attacks, rural letter carriers nationwide stepped forward to volunteer for a program called the National Postal Model (formerly part of the Cities Readiness Initiative), which utilizes the U.S. Postal Service’s one-of-a-kind delivery infrastructure to respond to potential bioterrorism attacks. Unfortunately, this program’s funding is at risk of elimination through federal budget cuts. Below is a statement from Jeanette Dwyer, President of the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, on the National Postal Model:

“On September 12, 2001, Americans nationwide opened their mailboxes to see that their lives would continue as expected. Through the normalcy of everyday mail delivery, Americans from all walks of life felt a sense of safety and security. Faced with an evil that targeted thousands of innocent civilians, the courage and dedication of the American spirit has continued on without intimidation, and there are few better examples of that courage than in the work of the American mail carrier. It was with this ideal in mind that the National Postal Model was developed.

“The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and rural letter carriers provide a unique opportunity in the defense against bioterrorism. Day after day, rural letter carriers reach every household in their communities, with some traveling over a hundred and fifty miles a day to deliver mail and parcels. In the case of a bioterrorism event on American soil, rural letter carriers have volunteered to deliver antibiotics to homes in affected zip codes through a program called the National Postal Model.

“Unfortunately, the National Postal Model is at risk of losing the entirety of its funding. Reckless federal budgeting has put millions of Americans at risk in the case of a bioterrorism event by leaving this program unable to expand nationwide, and similar budget showdowns only further the danger to Americans across the country. This program ensures a swift response to any potential biological attack on American soil and makes use of the unique delivery infrastructure in place through the USPS. To squander the opportunity and potential of this program is simply irresponsible and reprehensible.

“The NRLCA and its members call on Congress and President Obama to secure funding for the National Postal Model.”

The National Postal Model was developed in consultation between the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Postal Service, and the letter carrier unions, originally as part of the Cities Readiness Initiative. NRLCA Secretary-Treasurer Clifford Dailing played a key role in developing this program. Click here for a video statement from Mr. Dailing.