The family of Army veteran Scott Egan said his cremated remains were lost in the mail, and they blame Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. Egan's sister, Dr. Jean Egan, said the remains were lost in the mail for 12 days, and the U.S. Postal Service never gave a reason. The situation highlights the delays at the U.S. Postal Service, caused by DeJoy's recent changes in operations just before the November election.
Egan died in July in St. Louis and his remains were supposed to be delivered to a sister living in Maryland within two days of his death, Jean told ABC News' New Haven, Connecticut affiliate WTNH. The remains were eventually delivered to her sister in Maryland, but it took 10 days longer than it was supposed to. "If Postmaster General DeJoy cannot do his duty to the American public, and military families like mine, that he should be removed from his post," Jean said in a Friday press conference with Sen. Richard Blumenthal. Blumenthal, a Democrat, singled out the Maryland postal worker who delivered the remains. The postal worker "drove for two hours each way, with no overtime, to deliver those remains to Jean's sister," the Senator said.
Although Egan said she never received a formal apology from the U.S. Postal Service, they told ABC News they did apologize. "The Postal Service apologizes to the family for the delay," the statement reads. "There was misdirection given at the point of mailing and we are working with our personnel around the state to, again, raise awareness in proper procedures for handling cremated remains."
The Postal Service has seen delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, but critics have accused DeJoy of implementing other operational changes that are responsible for the delays. DeJoy, a longtime Republican donor and a former logistics executive, has pushed back on allegations of making changes to help President Donald Trump in November. During a Senate committee hearing on Friday, DeJoy insisted mail ballots will be delivered on time and said the Postal Service is "fully capable" of handling the millions of ballots expected.
On Saturday, the House of Representatives returned to Washington for a special session to vote on a bill to provide the U.S. Postal Service with $25 billion in additional funding. The bill passed mostly along party lines, although 26 Republican members joined the Democratic majority. The measure is not expected to be taken up in the Republican-controlled Senate. Trump has also vowed to veto it if it ever reaches his desk.