Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA) said in a statement the U.S. Postal Service could be shut down by June.
In a statement released Monday, the pair pleaded for the government to step in to help.
“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.
The pair also introduced a bill that will supply $25 billion in emergency funding for the Postal Service, while eliminating the agency’s debt and requiring it to prioritize medical deliveries.
Shipping has become even more important during the coronavirus outbreak. Shipping orders have exploded in quantity due to quarantine restrictions across the country.
Additionally, the bill will create temporary delivery points, such as Amazon lockers, in order to protect workers from being infected with the virus.
The New York Times reported 13 postal workers in Miami, New York City, and Seattle have tested positive for the virus. Although that accounts for less than 1% of the 630,000 postal workers across the country, since postal workers cannot work from home, all workers are in danger of being infected,
“These negative effects could be even more dire in rural areas, where millions of Americans are sheltering in place and rely on the Postal Service to deliver essential staples,” the representatives’ statement said.
Additionally, more than 25% of votes cast in recent elections are distributed through the mail and that number could go up significantly if the outbreak gets worse. The upcoming presidential election may also need to be handled through the mail.
The USPS is yet another industry affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Low wage workers have been hit particularly hard as many have been laid off or seen their hours cut as companies try to save money. Supermarkets and online retailers however, are looking for as much help as they can get.