Donald Trump late on Tuesday demanded Harvard University give back an $8.6 million grant it received as part of a stimulus package amid coronavirus.
The stand off came amid outrage that well off institutions and companies were taking advantage of the government’s $2.3 trillion stimulus, passed at the end of March, despite having reserves of their own.
The president tweeted after the Ivy League school defied his earlier order, saying it plans to keep an $8.6 million grant it received as part of an educational relief program – despite having an eye-watering $40.9 billion endowment
It has also emerged that businesses employing thousands of workers have been awarded grants under the Paycheck Protection Program, was supposed to infuse small businesses with $349 billion in emergency loans.
Large restaurants chains like Potbelly, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Taco Cabana were able to qualify despite employing thousands of workers, getting the maximum $10 million in loans.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has demanded the cash is returned.
President Trump said Tuesday that Harvard University would not be getting taxpayer money, citing the Ivy League school’s enormous endowment
Speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday, the president demanded the Ivy League school give taxpayer funds back, citing their massive endowment.
‘Harvard is going to pay back the money and they shouldn’t be taking it,’ Trump said, adding that Harvard has one of the largest endowments ‘in the country, maybe in the world.’
But in a statement issued moments after the briefing ended Harvard said it planned ‘to direct 100 per cent of the funds to financial assistance to students, and will not be using any of the funds to cover institutional costs.’
The university said it received the grant through the educational relief program that was part of the $2.3 trillion stimulus passed at the end of March, which also included a much larger fund aimed at helping small businesses.
Trump then tweeted late on Tuesday, pledging to look at their endowment system. He wrote: ‘Harvard should give back the money now. Their whole “endowment” system should be looked at!’
The president said during the daily press briefing: ‘They shouldn’t be taking it. They have one of the largest endowments anywhere in the history of the country, maybe the world I guess. They’re going to pay back that money.’
Donald Trump late on Tuesday demanded Harvard University give back an $8.6 million grant it received as part of a stimulus package amid coronavirus
Harvard, which easily out-guns the other schools with its eye-watering $40.9billion endowment was planning to take $8.6million
Harvard, which planned to utilize $8.6 million of taxpayer funds doled out as part of the CARES Act, is among a number of elite American universities taking advantage of $14 billion allocated to higher education institutions to weather the economic downturn associated with the coronavirus pandemic.