On Aug. 13, amid a global pandemic, President Donald Trump told Fox Business that he would not approve a coronavirus relief package if it included funds to help the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) deal with a massive influx of mail-in votes caused by fear of COVID-19.
Trump’s comments on the proposal are worrisome.
“If we don’t make the deal, that means [the USPS] can’t have the money, that means they can’t have universal mail-in voting. It just can’t happen,” Trump told Maria Bartiromo, a journalist with Fox Business.
Even if infection rates for COVID-19 are on the decline come Election Day, there will be millions of Americans who are unwilling or unable to risk contracting the virus by voting in person.
According to a June 25 poll from the Pew Research Center, many of these concerned Americans will most likely be voting for a Democrat in November with 76 percent of Democrats surveyed believing the worst of the virus is still to come and will likely prefer mail-in voting. In the same poll, 61 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents surveyed believe that the worst is behind us.
According to figures from Florida’s Division of Elections, upward of 350,000 more Democrats have voted by mail than Republicans in local elections as of Sunday, Aug. 23. Trump understands that the people who will vote by mail this year are not the people who will vote for him.
The Postal Service has become invaluable to people all over the country. Veterans are experiencing delays in receiving their medication from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Also, according to a Postal Service Inspector General Report in 2019, many of America’s 3.9 million small business owners rely on the low cost of the USPS to stay afloat.
Too many Americans rely on the post office for it to be treated like a bargaining chip, and Trump’s attempt to sway the 2020 election hurts more people than one might think.
To help save the USPS, vote early and text “USPS” to 50409 to create a digital letter of support for the Postal Service that is sent to your local congressional representative.