BREAKING: Harvard won’t “seek or accept” federal stimulus money after Trump’s call to return funds

This story is developing.

Per Fox News, Harvard University announced in a statement Wednesday that it will no longer “seek or accept” aid from the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, one day after President Trump demanded the Ivy League school return federal relief cash.

Senator Ted Cruz tweetedTerrific news. Kudos for Harvard, Princeton & Stanford for doing the right thing and turning down taxpayer-funded relief. They all have multi-billion-dollar endowments, and the relief should go to those most in need.”

Tuesday, Harvard had pushed back on the idea of giving back funds.

The Hill reported Harvard University on Tuesday pushed back against President Trump’s call for the institution to return funds it received from the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, saying the money it accepted would go toward assisting students financially impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

The university emphasized in a statement that it received the money from a $14 billion fund established under the CARES Act, called the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, and not a separate program designed to help small businesses retain employees amid the pandemic.

“Harvard did not apply for, nor has it received any funds through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses,” Harvard spokesman Jonathan Swain said in a statement obtained by The Hill. “Reports saying otherwise are inaccurate.”

“President Trump is right that it would not have been appropriate for our institution to receive funds that were designated for struggling small businesses,” Swain continued.

“Like most colleges and universities, Harvard has been allocated funds as part of the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. 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 spokesman said.

“This financial assistance will be on top of the support the University has already provided to students – including assistance with travel, providing direct aid for living expenses to those with need, and supporting students’ transition to online education.”

Speaking at a White House briefing earlier Tuesday, Trump repeatedly targeted Harvard and said that he would soon ask that the university and other large businesses return any of the funds they received through the recent stimulus package.

The president cited Harvard’s $40 billion endowment, saying that it didn’t make sense for the institution to also be a beneficiary of financial relief.

The Department of Education announced last week that Harvard was set to get about $9 million from the higher education fund.