Harvard University Vows to Keep Coronavirus Stimulus Money Despite Sitting on Endowment of Billions
Harvard University is refusing to give back their coronavirus bailout money despite the fact that the privileged institution sits atop an endowment of many billions of dollars.
President Donald Trump has called for Harvard to return $9 million in stimulus funds soaked up by the university. The coronavirus bailout has been a bonanza of graft after being muscled through without any real deliberation or discussion. Harvard claims that the money will be used to assist the “urgent financial needs” of students amidst the pandemic.
Harvard is the world’s wealthiest university and has an endowment worth an estimated $40 billion. Trump singled them out during a coronavirus briefing at the White House on Tuesday.
“I want Harvard to pay that money back, OK? If they won’t do that, we won’t do something else,” the president said to reporters.
“They have to pay it back, I don’t like it. This is meant for workers, this isn’t meant for one of the richest institutions, not only, far beyond schools in the world. They got to pay it back,” he added.
Harvard responded to Trump’s criticism in a tweet.
“Harvard has committed that 100% of these emergency higher education funds will be used to provide direct assistance to students facing urgent financial needs due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” the university tweeted.
Other ivy league schools are cashing out on stimulus funds as well. Princeton has soaked up $2.4 million from the coronavirus bailout with a $26 billion endowment, and Yalehas received $6.9 million in stimulus funds while having an endowment of $30 billion.
The bailout was pushed through without lawmakers even knowing what was in the bill. This has resulted in tremendous abuse and waste, particularly through the Payment Protection Program (PPP), which was meant to help small businesses.
According to an analysis conducted by investment bank Morgan Stanley, publicly traded corporations with a value of over $100 million a piece received $250 billion in stimulus funds meant for small businesses.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) was the lone voice standing in opposition to the bailout at the time.
‘I swore an oath to uphold the constitution, and I take that oath seriously. In a few moments I will request a vote on the CARES Act which means members of Congress will vote on it by pushing “yes” or “no” or “present,”‘ Massie wrote on Twitter.
‘The Constitution requires that a quorum of members be present to conduct business in the House. Right now, millions of essential, working-class Americans are still required to go to work during this pandemic such as manufacturing line workers, healthcare professionals, pilots, grocery clerks, cooks/chefs, delivery drivers, auto mechanics, and janitors (to name just a few). Is it too much to ask that the House do its job, just like the Senate did?,’ he added.
Massie was unsuccessful in stopping the bailout from being rammed through and now Americans have to live with the consequences.