Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

An investigation by Senate Democrats published Wednesday found that there were "significant" U.S. Postal Service delays this summer for mail-order prescription drugs, according to information provided by five major pharmacies.

Why it matters: Demand for mailed prescriptions has increased during the coronavirus pandemic, per the report by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.).

  • The investigation, first reported by the Washington Post, questioned Cigna, CVS Health, Walgreens, United Health and Humana.

What they found: Four of the companies said that their mail-order pharmacies' delivery times generally took three to four days instead of two to three days, although one company described "delays of seven days or more" for patients in July.

  • "The number of orders taking over five days to deliver has risen dramatically since the onset of the pandemic," another unnamed pharmacy told the senators.
  • One company reported $700,000 in additional costs in July from increased reshipments and service delays.

The big picture: The investigation comes amid worries that the USPS will not be able to handle increased volumes of mail-in ballots driven by the pandemic.

  • On-time delivery for priority mail declined sharply from July to August, per an internal briefing for Postmaster General Louis DeJoy released last month by the House Oversight Committee.
  • The USPS' internal watchdog found some unresolved issues within the agency that could impact its ability to efficiently process and deliver election mail, according to an audit published last week.

What they're saying: "Our workforce, like many others, have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, which has resulted in certain service disruptions," USPS public relations manager Dave Partenheimer said in an email. "We are aggressively working to ensure full service coverage across the network, including increasing hiring based on local needs and improving process flows."

Read the report.

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Ina Fried, author of Login
Updated Oct 15, 2020 - Technology

Twitter experiences a widespread outage

Screenshot: Axios

Twitter was down for more than an hour on Thursday, preventing new messages from being sent and the service from loading. The company told Axios during the outage that it had "no evidence of a security breach or hack" and was investigating internal causes.

What they're saying: "We know people are having trouble Tweeting and using Twitter. We’re working to fix this issue as quickly as possible," Twitter said in an e-mail to Axios.

California to independently review FDA-approved coronavirus vaccines

California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California will "independently review" all coronavirus vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration before allowing their distribution, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced at a news conference Monday.

Why it matters: The move that comes days after NAID director Anthony Fauci said he had "strong confidence" in FDA-approved vaccines could cast further public doubt that the federal government could release a vaccine based on political motives, rather than safety and efficacy.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Politics: Trump says if Biden's elected, "he'll listen to the scientists"Trump calls Fauci a "disaster" on campaign call.
  2. Health: Coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise — 8 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  3. States: Wisconsin judge reimposes capacity limit on indoor venues.
  4. Media: Trump attacks CNN as "dumb b*stards" for continuing to cover pandemic.
  5. Business: Consumer confidence surveys show Americans are getting nervousHow China's economy bounced back from coronavirus.
  6. Sports: We've entered the era of limited fan attendance.
  7. Education: Why education technology can’t save remote learning.