Facing pressure from Trump, Harvard hands back coronavirus aid money

  • Harvard University says it will not take any money from the coronavirus aid package.
  • The announcement comes just one day after President Donald Trump pressured Harvard to "pay back the money."

In an about-face on Wednesday, Harvard University announced it will not accept federal funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The stunning reversal comes just one day after President Donald Trump called on the Ivy League school to return the money, citing its $40 billion endowment. 

The announcement also comes just hours after Stanford University announced it would not accept its cut of the aid package. 

"Harvard will not accept funds from the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund"   

[RELATED: Stanford, with $27 billion endowment, says it will NOT take coronavirus aid money]

"Harvard will not accept funds from the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund," Harvard University said. "Like most colleges & universities, Harvard has been allocated funds as part of the CARES Act. Harvard did not apply for this support, nor has it requested, received or accessed the funds."

"We are concerned," Harvard's statement continued, "that intense focus by politicians & others on Harvard in connection with the program may undermine participation in a relief effort Congress created & the president signed into law for the purpose of helping those whose financial challenges may be most severe. "

[RELATED: WATCH: Trump to tell Harvard to 'pay back the money']

"As a result of this, and the evolving guidance being issued around use of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, Harvard has decided not to seek or accept the funds allocated to it by statute. We will inform the DOE of our decision and encourage the department to act swiftly to reallocate those resources," the university said, asking that the department give "special consideration" to Massachusetts institutions that are "struggling to serve their communities and meet the needs of their students."

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Featured image source: YouTube/CNN

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Jon Street
Jon Street | Managing Editor

Jon Street is a news editor for Campus Reform. Six years ago, Jon cut his reporting teeth fresh out of college as an intern at Media Research Center's CNSNews.com, where he interviewed multiple members of Congress and former presidential candidates. From there, he went on to complete a stint at Watchdog.org, where his exclusive, investigative work was picked up or cited by the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox News, National Review, and the Drudge Report, among others. More recently, Jon spent three years as an assistant editor at TheBlaze.com. In his free time, Jon enjoys trying new coffeehouses around the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and traveling back to his home state of Missouri to spend time with his family.

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