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Samantha Bee urged Full Frontal viewers to support the U.S. Postal Service during Wednesday’s episode of the TBS late night show.
On April 22, President Donald Trump revealed his plans to honor essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic by performing air shows with jets. Bee responded, “We should absolutely honor essential workers, but not with military jets or by calling them heroes while paying them criminally low wages.”
The host noted that one group of essential workers that tends to be overlooked are Postal Service employees. “The Postal Service is hot as hell,” she said. “The workers wear knee shorts, they give it to us in the rain, sleet or snow, and they’re the only federal agency built entirely on the principle of licking stuff.”
The Postal Service currently lacks financial assistance from the government, and it’s estimated that the organization will be out of money by September. While House Democrats asked for $25 billion in funding during the stimulus talks, the Trump administration turned the proposal down.
Trump said that “the Postal Service is a joke,” noting that they deliver for Amazon and other internet-based companies. The president threatened to block coronavirus aid for the U.S. Postal Service if it doesn’t immediately raise its prices, while Trump also said that he believed Amazon was scamming the organization.
Bee said that Trump is “obsessed with Amazon and hates Jeff Bezos” because he owns The Washington Post.
“This is the worst possible time for us to have to suffer through another one of the president’s vendettas,” said Bee. “It’s an election year and with coronavirus outbreaks expected to continue through the fall, the Postal Service may be the only thing that can save our democracy.”
The host said that Republicans resist mail-in voting because “they’re afraid it will help Democrats, but there’s no evidence to confirm that.” She added, “Mail-in voting helps everyone. Old people, young people. Late night TV people who would have liked to be invited to Zoom with Lady Gaga, but are fine that didn’t happen.”
The Postal Service is currently in serious financial danger because small businesses and advertisers are not sending mail. Due to the pandemic, mail volume has decreased to nearly a third of its usual numbers. Additionally, more than 1,200 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and there is a lack of necessary supplies.
“The Postal Service is one of the only federal agencies directly authorized in the Constitution and it’s one of the most democratic institutions we have,” explained Bee. “It’s legally required to deliver to anyone, anywhere at the same price, which is great because I’ve got a lot of relatives around the country and a lot of ‘congratulations on your pregnancy’ cards.”
The host added that the service doesn’t cost taxpayers anything because it’s directly funded by the sales of its products and services. “That’s why it’s always coming out with new stamps like the hip-hop commemorative series,” she said. “Which is fitting because the post office was kind of a hip-hop pioneer.” A clip followed of a post office ad from 1967, which featured a man rapping about its services.
Bee said that the organization is “actually good,” sharing that it has the highest approval rating of any federal agency. “Even if their voters like it, Republican leaders hate when the government actually works. They’ve been trying to undermine the Postal Service for decades, going back to 1982 when Ronald Reagan signed a law requiring NBC’s Thursday night line up to feature at least one asshole mailman at all times,” she joked.
Bee shared that Republicans are currently trying to privatize post offices. “It’s ridiculous to expect the post office to be a money-making enterprise. It’s a public good,” she responded. “Expecting the postal service to turn a profit is like expecting public libraries to sell the right to use their bathrooms.”
The host said that the post office has become “a desperately needed lifeline” during the pandemic to deliver food, medication and necessary supplies. “It can do that because it reaches all 160 million addresses in America,” she said. “That includes places that aren’t profitable for private places to serve, which is why rural communities will suffer the most if we lose it.”
In addition to pressuring government representatives to help the U.S. Postal Service, Bee suggested that viewers buy stamps to help keep the organization in business. “You don’t even have to use them to mail stuff,” she said. “I used mine to wallpaper my bedroom. No matter where I am, I can always feel Big Bird’s eyes on me.”
Watch the full segment below.
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