“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

That, in 21 words, is the U.S. Postal Service mission and motto. But now the Postal Service and its millions of customers have something to worry about besides the weather: The political shenanigans of the Trump administration.

U.S. Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand on Monday, alongside 23 other U.S. senators, demanded Postmaster General Louis DeJoy address their questions about the ongoing slowdown of the USPS.

As the coronavirus pandemic has forced businesses, especially small businesses, to close their storefronts and operate mostly by mail, shipping and delivery delays have eaten into profit margins and jeopardized swaths of the upstate economy, including Greene and Columbia counties.

Upstate New York’s small businesses have been slammed by the one-two punch of the pandemic and DeJoy’s negative, reactionary policies, resulting in more hardship.

Statewide, small businesses continue to lose customers and precious revenue at the same time they are unnecessarily being forced to consider higher-cost shipping options because of the changes to USPS policy and operations.

Both senators are placing the blame for the slowdown squarely on DeJoy, but DeJoy answers to President Donald Trump, who must share some of the responsibility for this untenable situation.

Trump’s own manipulative policies are grinding the Postal Service to inefficiency in a clumsy and embarrassing attempt to stall mail-in ballots from reaching boards of election to save his political skin.

The Trump administration’s misguided attempt to bend the Postal Service to its will is costing small businesses in upstate New York valuable income and could influence the general election in November. This is not something to take lightly.

Steps must be taken, starting with Schumer and Gillibrand, to protect the Postal Service from being strangled by the very people we entrusted to operate it openly and smoothly.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1