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USPS needs help to keep delivering

DEAR EDITOR:

President Trump’s recent remark that the U.S. Postal Service “is a joke” is especially troubling during this time of national crisis. Just as the nation is depending more than ever on its postal service to deliver necessary medicines, supplies and correspondence directly to the homes and businesses of our country, this is not the time to question the dedication of 600,000 employees of the U.S. Postal Service.

The president fails to understand that leadership requires measured, thoughtful responses to challenges. He should consider his words can cause harm. He undermines work that many Americans do to get us through this crisis. Everybody should be thankful to first responders and health care workers on the front lines.

Like other essential workers, postal service employees also work hard to keep the country bound together. They are providing a service to help keep alive the comfort of normalcy.

A recent Pew Research Center poll found 91 percent of respondents have a favorable view of USPS, making it the country’s favorite federal agency.

Key to keeping the nation’s economy running while many businesses have been sidelined, USPS processes and delivers 47 percent of the world’s mail. The U.S. Postal Service remains relevant today. It delivers to 160 million addresses in the country and employs more than 7.5 million people. If it were to cease operation, the nation’s fragile economy could grind to a halt.

While it normally runs solely on revenue generated by sales of postal products, not tax dollars, the pandemic has created unprecedented fiscal challenges. The same market forces affecting other U.S. organizations also affect the postal service.

The agency sought to be included in recent relief packages passed by Congress. It is seeking financial assistance to weather the storm of the pandemic — relief granted to private industries like automakers and airlines. USPS seeks to receive only what it needs. Because the postal service belongs to the American people, the only concern is its ability to continue providing service to those who own it.

This is not a partisan issue. Many of our region’s elected officials, regardless of party affiliation, are supportive of the need to maintain USPS operations. Congress already approved a $10 billion loan for the organization. That money is being held up by Treasury Secretary Mnuchin.

I ask the public to contact their U.S. House and Senate representatives and urge them to demand money already approved be immediately distributed to the postal service, and that additional funding for the agency be included in future emergency spending bills.

It is important that Congress delivers this relief so the postal service can continue delivering for you.

JIM VARNER

Director

Motor Vehicle Craft,

American Postal Workers Union Local 443

Champion

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