Charles Payne blasts Harvard for taking coronavirus relief funds while Americans struggle

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Fox Business host Charles Payne said on Wednesday that he “agrees 1,000 percent” with President Trump's request that Harvard University should return coronavirus relief funds that were intended for small businesses.

“Here’s the thing: When the pandemic initially broke out, the first thing that Harvard did was fire their cafeteria staff that were subcontractors, almost 300 workers,” Payne told “America’s Newsroom.”

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Payne’s comments follow the president's accusation on Tuesday that Harvard took money from the government, claiming it will be paying it back. This came amid scrutiny of the Paycheck Protection Program under the CARES Act, which is meant to help small businesses.

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Harvard drew particular scrutiny from the president given the massive size of its endowment.

But a Harvard spokesman noted that the nearly $9 million in taxpayer aid in dispute did not come from the PPP program but rather from the CARES Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, which helped many universities and colleges.

 

Payne said that Harvard paying the cafeteria workers a normal salary would have cost them $700,000, less than 1 percent of the $40 billion endowments.

“And now the taxpayer should fork over some cash? Absolutely not," he said.

Payne said that Harvard is “out of touch.” Payne also rejected their claim that they are taking funds from the Coronavirus Aid Relief Economic Security act instead of the PPP.

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“No, it’s taxpayer funds that you do not need. In the meantime, we’ve got millions of small businesses praying for relief after the other program ran dry too fast.”

 Fox News' Brooke Singman contributed to this report.