Trump Demands Harvard Pay Back $8.6M

University says $8.6M in relief was no loan
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2020 6:21 AM CDT
Updated Apr 22, 2020 6:55 AM CDT
Trump Demands Harvard Pay Back $8.6M
The John Harvard statue at Harvard University, a popular tourist attraction at the campus in Cambridge, Mass, sits adorned with a medical mask as students prepared to leave campus on March 14.   (AP Photo/Collin Binkley)

Harvard says it has no intention of paying back nearly $9 million in coronavirus relief aid, despite President Trump's demand it do so. During Tuesday's coronavirus briefing, Trump said the world's wealthiest university, with an endowment fund of $40 billion, should pay back $8.6 million it received through the $2.2 trillion aid package signed on March 27, reports the New York Times. "This is meant for workers, this isn't meant for one of the richest institutions … They got to pay it back," Trump said, per the BBC. But Harvard didn't receive any money from a fund granting loans to small businesses. It benefited from $14 billion in relief for higher education, distributed to institutions based on the number and income of students.

Arizona State University received $63.5 million, Cornell and Columbia each received about $12.8 million, Arkansas State University received $9.2 million, Central Connecticut State University received $9 million, Stanford received $7.3 million, and Yale received $6.8 million, per the Times. Half of the relief money was intended to go to students, with the remainder assisting in revenue losses as a result of shuttered campuses, canceled athletic events, and more. Though Harvard president Lawrence Bacow tells the Times that resources are "already stretched," the university says it 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." (Read more Harvard stories.)

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