The U.S. Postal Service issued a warning that it may not survive due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On Friday, the mail service said the virus began harming business in late March and the decline has continued.
"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," a press release states.
Postmaster General Megan Brennan is asking Congress and the Trump administration to send financial aid.
"We anticipate that our business will suffer potentially dire consequences for the remainder of the year," Postmaster General and CEO Megan Brennan said in Friday’s statement. "At a time when America needs the Postal Service more than ever, the pandemic is starting to have a significant effect on our business with mail volumes plummeting as a result of the pandemic."
More than 60,000 mail carriers and postal workers have worked through the virus outbreak.
The postal service released its second quarter numbers Friday, which are artificially elevated by mailings tied to the US Census.
"Compared to the same quarter last year, First-Class Mail revenue increased by $89 million, or 1.4%, despite a volume decline of 29 million pieces, or 0.2%. This growth was due to one-time mailings associated with the 2020 U.S. Census, otherwise First-Class Mail revenue and volume would have each declined," the postal service said.
Last month, Brennan warned Congress the agency would run out of cash by the end of September if lawmakers don't step in with financial assistance. USPS requested $75 billion in funding from Congress.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that a $10 billion dollar loan for USPS was authorized in the CARES Act stimulus package late last month. The terms of the loan are still being discussed, USPS spokesperson David Partenheimer told CNN on Friday.
President Donald Trump said he wouldn't approve a loan unless the USPS raises its prices for Amazon and other big shippers to four to five times current rates.
Brennan pleaded to Congress and the Trump administration for more help.
"As Congress and the Administration take steps to support businesses and industries around the country, it is imperative that they also take action to shore up the finances of the Postal Service, and enable us to continue to fulfill our indispensable role during the pandemic, and to play an effective role in the nation’s economic recovery," she said Friday.
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