One of my working from home routines is looking out my front window to watch as my now masked and gloved mail carrier drops off mail along my street. Hundreds of thousands of postal workers like him are going to work during the coronavirus crisis. They, indeed, are essential workers because The United States Postal Service is a critical link in the COVID-19 supply chain; delivering medicines, test kits, personal protection equipment and school supplies. Compare that to the broken food supply chain which has left grocery store shelves empty and food pantries barren. Millions of Americans already know the Postal Service is a reliable resource. It is the only delivery service that distributes to every single household in the U.S. — in the cities and in the most remote areas of the country.

Both my beloved uncle and my dear dad were career postal employees. My uncle delivered mail. My dad retired after 40 plus years. The postal service is very personal to me.

It’s also very personal to President Trump, but for very different reasons. The President has long complained that Amazon and other internet companies pay too little to have the Post Office deliver to areas they don’t go. But it appears the real source of his misplaced anger is animus toward billionaire Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and owner of The Washington Post. The President regularly rails against the Post newspaper claiming unfair coverage. Maybe not snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will not stay Postal couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds, but a targeted attack from the President just might.

Calling the Post Office “a joke,” he blocked $10 billion earmarked for the postal service in the $2.2 trillion CARES Act. Ironically, many Americans will get their stimulus checks delivered by an agency denied the same emergency funding. USPS is drowning in a perfect storm of debt — onerous Congressional legislation requiring it to pre-fund 75 years of employee pensions, and a steep drop in business mail during the pandemic. Taxpayer monies do not fund USPS, as some erroneously believe. It’s only source of income are stamps and package delivery.

Recently President Trump tweeted that he wouldn’t let the Postal Service fail. But he’s been clear that he won’t help unless the agency accepts his version of postal reform. That would include transferring control to the Treasury Department and quadrupling the delivery fees for Amazon and others. Analysts say that could backfire by boosting rates higher than UPS or FedEx.

President Trump’s proposed plan is a devil’s bargain. Consider that in one fell swoop he could execute his grudge against Bezos' Amazon, undermine the powerful postal workers union and potentially control the delivery of mail in ballots. There is movement in Congress to shore up the Postal Service with emergency funds, and a growing alarm among ordinary Americans leading a nationwide stamp buying campaign, #SaveUSPS. I, like most of you, often feel overwhelmed in the midst of this public health crisis. But, we have to pay attention. The United States Post Office is a cornerstone of our democracy; We can’t afford to be passive about its survival.