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Trump promises Harvard will give back the millions it received of coronavirus relief funds


'They're gonna pay back that money'

Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

President Donald Trump said that Harvard University will be returning millions in coronavirus relief money it received after a public outcry that the money didn't go to smaller businesses.

The president made the announcement during the coronavirus task force media briefing on Tuesday.

"Harvard is gonna pay back the money. They shouldn't be taking it. So, Harvard is going to. You have a number of, I'm not gonna mention any other names," he said.

"But when I saw Harvard, they have one of the largest endowments anywhere in the country, maybe in the world, I guess," continued Trump.

"And, uh, they're gonna pay back that money," he concluded.

Harvard University was singled out by many on social media as an example of the unfair distribution of the relief funds from the program because the storied university has a $40 billion endowment it can lean on.

Forbes education editor Susan Adams outlined the argument against Harvard receiving such funds.

Harvard has become a lightning rod because it has the largest endowment of any school in the country. In June 2019, the endowment was valued at $41 billion. Why can't Harvard just spend that money to help students and cover any of its own new expenses resulting from the pandemic?

A representative for Harvard said that the school deserved the funding because it had been hit with extraordinary expenses from the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

On Monday, Dagen McDowell condemned the large banks for stalling on getting the funds out to businesses, while praising the small community banks that worked to help at a much faster rate. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin voiced similar observations at Tuesday's media briefing.

Also on Tuesday, Senate Republicans passed a bill to re-fund the relief program and provide more money to distressed businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Here's the announcement from the president:

Trump, Mnuchin condemn large businesses taking small business relief

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