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President Trump accused Harvard University of "taking" money from the federal government as part of the Paycheck Protection Program under the CARES Act, intended to benefit small businesses and said he will be asking that they pay it back.
“Harvard is going to pay back the money. They shouldn’t be taking it,” Trump said Tuesday, taking aim at the university as the White House came under scrutiny after a number of large businesses received money from the $350 billion relief fund, leaving small businesses out as the coffers ran dry last week.
“I’m not going to mention any other names, but when I saw Harvard — they have one of the largest endowments anywhere in the country, maybe in the world. They’re going to pay back the money,” he added.
Harvard University denied applying for loans intended for small businesses straining under the coronavirus pandemic and said it received funds as part of a separate fund under the CARES Act for academic institutions.
“Like most colleges and universities, Harvard has been allocated funds as part of the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund,” the university said in a statement, adding that 100 percent of the money will be used to provide direct assistance to students facing urgent financial needs due to COVID-19.
The school also stressed that the financial assistance provided by the government is on top of support the university has already provided to students.
In an effort to meet the demands for funds for small businesses, the Senate passed a bill Tuesday to replenish the PPP fund with $310 billion, along with additional funding for hospitals, coronavirus testing, and more.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the next go-around of loans will be offered to the more than 1 million companies with fewer than 10 workers and said their would be additional guidance in the coming days on who specifically would qualify.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.