#SaveThePostOffice: In Defense of USPS

Many essential services are feeling the unfortunate impact of the COVID-19 virus—especially the United States Postal Service, which might be shut down by the summer if not provided with more funding by the government.

According to the Government Accountability Office, “USPS’s overall financial condition is deteriorating and unsustainable.” USPS’s board has requested $75 billion in the next coronavirus bill.

Yet, Trump has threatened to veto any COVID-19 legislation that includes bailout funding for the USPS—in spite of its “essential service” status during the pandemic.

If USPS were to shut down, 600,000 employees will be without jobs, including many people of color, who make up 39 percent of USPS workers, and women, who make up 40 percent

In trying times like a pandemic, the USPS is needed more than ever: Without it, Americans will not be able to receive vital mail like relief checks from the IRS or medications (like prescriptions or even abortion pills), nor vote by mail during the upcoming November presidential election.


Here at Ms., our team is continuing to report through this global health crisis—doing what we can to keep you informed and up-to-date on some of the most underreported issues of this pandemic. We ask that you consider supporting our work to bring you substantive, unique reporting—we can’t do it without you. Support our independent reporting and truth-telling for as little as $5 per month.


In a letter submitted to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney, chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Gerry Connolly, chair of the Subcommittee on Government Operations stated “based on a number of briefings and warnings this week about a critical fall-out in mail across the country, it has become clear the the Postal Service will not survive the summer without immediate help from the government.”

Once the news about the USPS possible closure was released, many took to social media with the hashtag #savethepostoffice to show their support for the service as well as make others aware about how critical the service is to the country:

https://twitter.com/kelleranner/status/1248650471079739392

Although there were many who expressed their concern over the USPS potential closure, there is little being done to prevent its extinction. 

Trump’s explanation for not providing the organization with emergency relief funds was that the high rates for Internet shipping companies Amazon, FedEx and UPS would assist with the agency’s budget. 

A $10 billion Treasury Department loan, however, was added to the Cares Act by Sens. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Ron Johnson (D-Wis.) to get USPS through the spring.

Throughout this pandemic, it has become apparent how much society relies on the U.S. Post Office.  The workers have been on the front lines since the beginning, making sure supplies and goods such as food, clothes, school materials for children, prescription drugs and books—necessary for people to get through this crisis—are delivered safely to everyone’s homes. 

Without proper funding, however, the future of the agency will remain on unsteady ground.


The coronavirus pandemic and the response by federal, state and local authorities is fast-movingDuring this time, Ms. is keeping a focus on aspects of the crisis—especially as it impacts women and their families—often not reported by mainstream media. If you found this article helpful, please consider supporting our independent reporting and truth-telling for as little as $5 per month.

About

Michael Herrera is a contributor at Ms. Magazine. He studied at California State University, Northridge and has a Bachelor’s Degree in journalism as well as a minor in creative writing.