Fox Business host Charles Payne let Harvard have it Wednesday after the Ivy League university announced that it would not return coronavirus relief money.
Payne spoke with “America’s Newsroom” anchor Sandra Smith about President Donald Trump’s call for the school to return the funding as well as Harvard’s response. (RELATED: Charles Payne Dismantles Ocasio-Cortez Claim That A System That Allows Billionaires Is ‘Wrong’)
— America’s Newsroom (@AmericaNewsroom) April 22, 2020
Smith began by showing Trump’s remarks from Tuesday’s press conference, when he had pointed out the fact that Harvard already received a $40 billion endowment and should return the $9 million that had been part of coronavirus relief efforts.
Trump also addressed the issue in a tweet, adding, “Their whole “endowment” system should be looked at.”
Harvard should give back the money now. Their whole “endowment” system should be looked at! https://t.co/LcjOcsnCWT
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 22, 2020
Smith also pointed out that Harvard had made the case that they should keep the money because, rather than applying for relief through the Paycheck Protection Program, they had been allotted funds through the CARES Act — but Trump disagreed.
Payne responded emphatically to the president’s claim, saying, “I agree 1000%.”
Payne went on to note that the university had been quick to furlough workers without pay, despite having the available funds to keep them on.
“Here’s the thing. When the pandemic initially broke out, the first thing Harvard did was fire their cafeteria staff that were subcontractors,” Payne explained. “Almost 300 workers. If they would have paid them a normal salary, it would have cost them $700,000 — which is less than 1% of 1% of the $40 billion they’re sitting on. And now the taxpayers should fork over some cash? Absolutely not, they are tin-eared, they are out of touch, and they really don’t need to try to tell us that they’re ‘not taking PPP money, it’s CARES money.'”
“No,” Payne concluded. “It’s taxpayer funds that you do not need, and in the meantime, we’ve got millions of small businesses still waiting and praying for relief after the other program ran dry too fast.”