Conservative lawmakers outraged over Harvard's cut of college bailout package

UPDATE: Harvard, Princeton, and Yale now say they will not take the money.

Several GOP members of Congress blasted how the school is receiving a taxpayer-funded bailout when it already has an endowment of nearly $40 billion..

Harvard University received nearly $9 million as part of the federal bailout package resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

Editor’s note: After the publication of this article, Harvard University announced it will not take the money from the CARES Act. Yale University and Princeton University later made similar statements


Original story below...

With Harvard University receiving nearly $9 million in federal bailout money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, several members of Congress are both scratching their heads and outraged that the government gave this money away to the Ivy League school with a $40 billion endowment.

Harvard has since said that it will distribute all of the $9 million directly to students in needs, even though the law requires that it only distribute half the funds to students. However, that move didn’t come until after significant backlash to Harvard receiving the money while small businesses struggle to stay alive. 

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) tweeted, “Harvard has billions in their endowment, kicked students off campus this semester, harbored a researcher (chair of chemical biology department!) who, according to DOJ, failed to disclose payments from the Chinese govt. So why did my colleagues include them in this bailout?”

[RELATED: Ivy League bailout: Colleges with billions get more millions]


Campus Reform reported on this Harvard chemistry chair who allegedly failed to disclose his ties to China, along with $50,000 per month in addition to more than $150,000 per year by the Wuhan University of Technology, according to the Justice Department.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), tweeted, “Dear Harvard: Thank you for my law degree and an excellent legal education. You’re very rich; many people are hurting. Now give the money back.”


Cruz said in a separate tweet, “This is ridiculous. Taxpayer relief funds should go to those in real need. Harvard University has a $41bn endowment—the largest in the world. Put another way, Harvard’s endowment is $13mm per student, or $171mm per faculty member.”


Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) also shared his thoughts on the Harvard bailout, tweeting, “Why is Harvard, with its multi-billion dollar endowment, much of it built with help from taxpayer money, getting a bailout? This is obscene.”


Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.) tweeted, “If our priority here is saving lives—and it is—then sending $9 million in taxpayer dollars to Harvard, which has a $40 billion endowment, has nothing to do with that mission. That funding should have gone to small businesses, every cent of it.”


[RELATED: These 10 colleges are receiving the most federal bailout money]

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) tweeted, “Millions have lost their job. Small businesses are suffering & trying to stay alive. Meanwhile, Harvard, with its $40B endowment, just got $9M in taxpayer money,” adding, “The CARES Act was necessary to save our economy. This kind of waste from the federal government IS NOT NECESSARY.”


Harvard told Campus Reform that under the CARES Act, the school “was allocated $8.6 million, with 50 percent of those funds to be reserved for grants to students. Harvard is actually allocating 100 percent of the funds to financial assistance for students to meet their urgent needs in the face of this pandemic.” 

The school also makes clear that the endowment is complex and restricted due to the specific wishes of the donors who fund it.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Jonathan_M_Jr

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