VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — At the age of 63, former U.S. Marine Nelson DeLeon is in the fight for his life after a heart transplant in 2017, seizures, and diabetes. He takes 17 pills a day just to stay alive.
Beginning in June, his medications, which are delivered by U.S. mail, have failed to arrive on time.
“Recently it [medication delivery] was late and I had to start splitting some of the medications. I am supposed to take them twice a day — I ended up taking them one a day. I finally ran out and then the medicine arrived and [I had to] catch up and refill my pillbox,” said DeLeon.
The former marine and letter carrier for USPS, needs those pills to stay alive.
He says the Trump administration is playing politics with his health.
“Most definitely — I’m scared sometimes because I need that medicine to survive and to avoid [transplanted heart] rejection,” said DeLeon. “I know the post office — as an ex-postal worker — is working very hard but if they don’t have the packages they cant deliver it.”
DeLeon’s medications and mail from across the country have been slowed down after Postmaster General Louis DeJoy recently cut overtime, took hundreds of high-speed sorting machines out of service, and removed drop-off boxes.
Democrats claim this is a blatant effort to sabotage the vote-by-mail process and privatize the postal service.
Sen. Mark Warner, in a news conference, was joined by the DeLeon family and postal service union representatives, who say even after DeJoy promised to end recent changes the postal service, the slowdowns continue in Hampton Roads and across the country.
Victor Fields, president of the Norfolk local of the American Postal Workers Union, told 10 on Your Side earlier this summer the power source for three high-speed sorting machines at the Norfolk processing center has been cut, causing mail to be left unprocessed overnight.
In the news conference outside the Ryan Keith Cox Post Office in Virginia Beach, he told reporters the slow-down has affected families across the country.
“Some places [are] even worse [than Hampton Roads]. Some places [it takes] up to 10 days for priority mail,” said Fields.
The House of Representatives has passed legislation to reverse the DeJoy changes but Warner says it’s unlikely similar legislation in the Senate will ever make it to the floor. The Democrat calls on the administration and his colleagues in Congress to put an end to policies that could cost lives.
“We’re in the middle of a pandemic. Deliver the mail on time — don’t mess with it, said Warner.
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