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Concerns growing over future of United States Postal Service across the country

Financial trouble, coronavirus leading to decline in revenue
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Posted at 3:24 PM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 17:51:52-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — So many of you rely on the postal service to delivery your medicine, receive unemployment benefits, and pay your bills.

But the deadly coronavirus pandemic has caused significant financial impacts for the postal service, and if nothing is done, some fear it could shut down.

The United States Postal Service has been around for more than 200 years.

But after years of financial trouble, and now with the coronavirus causing declining revenues, there are major concerns the postal service could go under.

"They're saying the end of September we will be out of money to go ahead and keep the payroll going as it is today," said Al Friedman, the President of the Florida State Association of Letter Carriers.

Friedman said the USPS is losing between $2 million and $5 million a day across the country.

"Letters are down 42% because companies and a lot of business are not mailing," Friedman said.

We're told packages are up with box stores closed and more people shopping online while in quarantine. But the USPS is predicting significant financial impacts over the next 18 months.

During a Zoom call Thursday, U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel said the HEROES Act appropriates $25 billion to the Postal Service for lost revenue, and that money will also help buy personal protective equipment for employees. The bill is now waiting on the Senate.

"If the Post Office does not get its funding by Fall, not only is our vote by mail threatened many Americans get their medicine by mail, certainly getting their unemployment checks by mail," said Rep. Frankel.

Friedman also said two mail carriers in Florida, one in Sunrise and another in Fort Lauderdale, died because of COVID-19 and more than 100 others are currently home after testing positive.

Debbie Fetterly, a USPS spokesperson for the South Florida District, released this statement to WPTV:

"The Postal Service is proud of the work our more than 600,000 employees play in processing, transporting, and delivering mail and packages for the American public. We provide a vital public service that is a part of this nation’s critical infrastructure. Our employees deliver much needed medications and Social Security checks, and we are the leading delivery service for online purchases.

The Postal Service has a dedicated Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Command Response leadership team that is focusing on employee and customer safety in conjunction with operational and business continuity during this unprecedented epidemic. We continue to follow the strategies and measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health departments. The CDC has information available on its website at https://www.coronavirus.gov that provides the latest information about COVID-19. For more specific information on USPS actions to protect our employees and our customers during this pandemic: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/statements/usps-statement-on-coronavirus.htm.

The Postal Service is deeply saddened by the passing of two of our postal family members (Fort Lauderdale, FL and Sunrise, FL) These employees were dedicated public servants, and we extend our deepest condolences to their families during this difficult time. As you may know, under the Rehabilitation Act and the Privacy Act, specific employee medical information must be kept confidential and may only be shared in very limited circumstances. Therefore, the Postal Service cannot share the names of the employees.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which has severely affected the U.S. economy, began to negatively affect the Postal Service during late March with declining mail volume, and the impact has continued to worsen since then. On May 8, the U.S. Postal Service reported total revenue of $17.8 billion for the second quarter of fiscal 2020 (January 1, 2020 - March 31, 2020), an increase of $348 million, compared to the same period last year. It is estimated that the COVID-19 pandemic will substantially increase the Postal Service’s net operating loss over the next eighteen months, threatening the Postal Service's ability to operate. However, since the Postal Service began experiencing the impacts of the pandemic in mid-March, the pandemic did not have a material impact on its second quarter results, although significant impacts are expected for the remainder of the year. For additional information: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/national-releases/2020/0508-usps-reports-second-quarter-fiscal-2020-results.htm.

Here is a link to a “Delivering the Facts” document which explains our current situation beyond the pandemic issues: https://about.usps.com/news/delivers-facts/usps-delivers-the-facts.pdf."