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Top lawmakers say that the U.S. Postal Service is in need of funding amid the coronavirus outbreak, a Tuesday report said.
The Postal Service needs “urgent help” amid the coronavirus pandemic or it could shut down as early as June, Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney and Gerry Connolly said in a statement, McClatchy News reported.
“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.”
“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,” the statement said. “Every community in America relies on the Postal Service to deliver vital goods and services, including life-saving medications.”
House Democrats introduced their own stimulus package that included emergency funds to save the Postal Service from “imminent bankruptcy,” according to the news release.
Under terms of the Democrats stimulus legislation, The Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act, would provide a $25 billion emergency appropriation, eliminate the Postal Service’s current debt and require it to prioritize medical deliveries, McClatchy News reported.
Shutting down the Postal Service would cause severe hardships in several areas – including the delivery of prescription drugs, the report said. Last year, more than one billion shipments of prescription drugs were fulfilled by the Postal Service, according to the release.
With people currently under government shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders, many rely on getting essentials items delivered through the Postal Service.
Additionally, with 2020 being an election year, many people rely on the USPS for mail-in voting. More than 25 percent of votes in recent elections were distributed through the U.S. mail, according to the news release.
As of Tuesday, there were nearly 55,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S., according to multiple government health agencies As of last week, at least 20 postal workers had tested positive for COVID-19, the New York Times reported.