The Postal Service was in trouble before covid-19. Now it’s fighting for its life.
The $2 trillion congressional coronavirus assistance package would provide badly needed relief for millions of Americans and businesses but little for one organization already in desperate financial health.The U.S. Postal Service has been in money trouble for years. Now, covid-19, the disease the virus causes, is forcing the quasi-governmental agency into a fight for its life.“What we’ve seen in the pandemic is the collapse of mail,” Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), chairman of the government operations subcommittee that oversees the Postal Service, said by phone. “While people are shipping packages, mail volume has collapsed.”Unless Congress acts quickly, the decline in mail because of covid-19 could soon close the constitutionally mandated mail service, according to Connolly and Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), chairwoman of the full Committee on Oversight and Reform. They called the situation “a national emergency” as they proposed postal relief measures.“As a direct result of the coronavirus crisis, it has become clear that the Postal Service will not survive the summer without immediate assistance from Congress and the White House,” Maloney and Connolly wrote in a letter Tuesday to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “Postal Service officials warn that, without immediate intervention, the precipitous drop off in