Harvard University plans to repay the federal government money it received as part of a stimulus package to help small businesses struggling with coronavirus lockdowns, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday, after the funding for the university drew fire.
Speaking at a daily briefing at the White House, Trump also said 20 states were moving ahead quickly to reopen following the lockdown.
On the subject of the loans, Harvard reportedly nettled nearly $9 million in aid through the Paycheck Protection Program.
“Harvard’s going to pay back the money, they shouldn’t be taking it,” Trump said. “They have one of the largest endowments anywhere in the country, maybe the world I guess, and they’re going to pay back that money.”
He added that some large companies, unnamed in his briefing, would also pay back funds obtained through the pandemic loan program. Harvard has an endowment worth more than $40 billion, reported NBC News.
The burger chain Shake Shack, which received $10 million from the PPP, has already said it will return the money. The New York-based burger company is among more than a dozen companies with annual revenues in the hundreds of millions that are reported to have received PPP money. Others included Ruth’s Hospitality Group and Potbelly’s.
Potbelly Sandwich Works, which which has 474 restaurants and 7,000 employees, said last week it received a $10 million loan. Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, which has 150 restaurants and more than 5,700 employees, received two loans of $10 million each.
Restaurant chains are also tapping other sources for cash to weather the crisis
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