(ConservativePeak.Com)- Harvard University came under fire earlier this week after taking an $8.6 million grant from the government despite having $41bn in endowments. President Donald Trump, after being alerted to the issue, has made it clear he intends to recover some of the money taken by the university.
During his daily Coronavirus White House Press Briefing, President Trump was joined by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to discuss companies who have already volunteered to give back relief funds they received that should have been given to small businesses. The president encouraged other large companies to do the same, and return funds that smaller companies need more urgently.
“Harvard is gonna pay back some money,” Trump announced. “They shouldn’t be taking it. Harvard is going to, and I’m not gonna name any other names, but when I saw Harvard – They have one of the largest endowments anywhere maybe in the world, and they’re gonna pay back that money.”
“Harvard’s going to pay back the money.” pic.twitter.com/YXGQuK17sP
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 21, 2020
The controversy erupted when it was revealed that Harvard University, despite having vast resources, took millions of dollars from the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill that was passed in March. The fund was designed to help small businesses keep hold of staff to avoid widespread unemployment, but large companies received much of the funding.
Fast food restaurant chain Shake Shack Inc has already committed to returning the small business loan received from the government, and the president has promised consequences for big businesses who don’t.
Mnuchin told the press that “very clear guidelines” would be published so companies know whether they should receive money.
“The intention was not for companies that have access to plenty of liquidity and other sources,” Mnuchin said. “To the extent these companies didn’t understand this and they repay the loans, that will be OK. And if not, there will be potentially other consequence.”
After hearing the news, however, Harvard hit back and doubled down. The university is refusing to pay back the funds.
In a statement issued soon after Trump made the comments, Harvard said that it will “direct 100% of the funds to financial assistance to students, and will not be using any of the funds to cover institutional costs.”
Couldn’t they have used some of their $41 billion to assist students, rather than taking it from the cash made available for small, struggling businesses?