Postal workers have been viewed as frontline workers throughout the pandemic. They have been deemed ‘essential’ from the start, and have been instructed to continue doing their jobs – despite risk.
Some lawmakers warned last week that without support, the U.S. Postal Service could completely shut down in the next few months. It would threaten the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Americans.
Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney, the chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Gerry Connolly, chair of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, said in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that the COVID-19 crisis is threatening the future of mail service in the U.S., according to CBS News.
“The Postal Service is in need of urgent help as a direct result of the coronavirus crisis,” the letter said. “Based on a number of briefings and warnings this week about a critical fall-off in mail across the country, it has become clear that the Postal Service will not survive the summer without immediate help from Congress and the White House. Every community in America relies on the Postal Service to deliver vital goods and services, including life-saving medications.”
The USPS, which relies on fees instead of taxes, may be forced to shut down as early as June. They noted that postal workers delivered more than a billion shipments of prescription drugs last year, and ceasing operations during the virus outbreak could have dire consequences for the health of people around the country.
“The Postal Service needs America’s help, and we must answer this call,” the letter adds.