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Trouble Looms for USPS Amid Virus Outbreak

Democratic lawmakers warn the agency may shut down by June if it doesn't get more funding
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2020 9:15 AM CDT
Trouble Looms for USPS Amid Virus Outbreak
A USPS worker makes a delivery with gloves and a mask in Warren, Mich., on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Lots of things we used to take for granted—going to work and school, gathering with friends at a party or bar, even making a trip to the grocery store—have all but disappeared during the coronavirus pandemic. There may soon be another addition to that list: getting mail, as the virus becomes what could be the "final straw" for the US Postal Service, per Yahoo Finance. Some Democratic lawmakers are now warning that, without additional funding, the USPS could shut down as soon as June, even though postal workers have been deemed "essential" workers. In a statement sent last week to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Gerry Connolly noted the USPS is "in need of urgent help" and that "it will not survive the summer without immediate help from Congress and the White House," CBS News reports.

"Every community in America relies on the Postal Service to deliver vital goods and services, including life-saving medications," the statement continued. "The Postal Service needs America's help, and we must answer this call." The statement added that people in rural areas could be especially hurt if USPS services cease, as they often rely on it to receive medications and other necessities. A shutdown could also mean a delay for those who will be receiving paper stimulus checks over the next few months. Meanwhile, there's growing anxiety among mail carriers, who say the USPS isn't doing enough to protect them from the virus. Workers complain to Business Insider about not only the lack of gloves and masks to keep them safe on the job, but also about unsanitary conditions in post offices and mail trucks. The USPS has issued a statement on how it's dealing with the virus. More here. (More USPS stories.)

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