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As the coronavirus pandemic continues, the US Postal Service said that it's seen a "devastating" drop in revenue and needs funding from Congress to ensure it can keep delivering letters and packages to the millions of Americans currently sheltering at home.
But so far, the USPS hasn't received cash in the stimulus plans aimed at propping up other types of US businesses — prompting some people on Sunday to show support by buying stamps, sharing tributes to mail carriers, and starting discussions about why the mail is such an important part of American life.
#USPostalService and #saveUSPS were tweeted thousands of times after the Washington Post reported Saturday that President Donald Trump was personally blocking potential emergency funding. According to the Post, Trump threatened to veto a version of the recently passed stimulus package that included a $13 billion bailout for the US Postal Service and instead extended the agency a $10 billion loan. The USPS has been financially troubled for decades, but a drop in its main funding source — first-class and marketing mail — due to the coronavirus pandemic has only worsened its economic outlook.
"We now estimate that the COVID-19 pandemic will increase the Postal Service’s net operating loss by more than $22 billion dollars over the next eighteen months, and by over $54 billion dollars over the longer term, threatening our ability to operate," Postmaster General Megan Brennan said in a statement on Friday.
Rep. Gerry Connolly, a Democrat who has led the push to provide USPS with aid, has also said Trump personally blocked potential funding plans.
"Every single one of us will feel the impact if the #USPostalService disappears, @realDonaldTrump," Connolly tweeted on Sunday. "The American people want to #SaveTheUSPS. Whether we can is up to you."
Some people praised the mail delivery personnel in their lives.
Others pointed out the opportunity USPS provided in particular for black workers, who continue to make up about 27% of the postal workforce.
Some postal workers also spoke out about how necessary their jobs are now.
The postal service also played an important part in bringing Americans together throughout history, professors and historians said.
Others tried to support the USPS by buying stamps.
And some pointed out the role USPS plays in democracy with voting by mail.
The USPS website currently displays a notice that says that “due to a high volume of orders at this time” users should “allow an additional 2-3 days for the delivery” of their order. It wasn't immediately clear if this was linked to the online campaigns, and a USPS spokesperson couldn't immediately provide stamp sales numbers to BuzzFeed News.