Phi Beta Casha: Harvard Vows To Keep Stimulus Money . . . Then Vows Not To [Updated]

Harvard-seal-3In yesterday’s press conference, President Donald Trump said that Harvard University “is going to pay back the money and they shouldn’t be taking it.” Harvard however says that it intends to keep the money.  That will set off an interesting legal fight, which could ultimately cost much of the grant’s worth in legal fees. Update: Harvard is now reportedly not going to seek or accept stimulus money.

The $8.6 million grant has received criticism given Harvard’s $41 billion in endowment.  However, Harvard announced that it plans “to direct 100% of the funds to financial assistance to students, and will not be using any of the funds to cover institutional costs.”

Harvard correctly points out that this was not really money for small businesses as reported by many reporters.  It is money given as part of the educational relief program which was passed as part of  the $2.3 trillion stimulus at the end of March. The huge fund for small businesses was also included.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, including a provision included $12.5 billion for roughly 5,000 institutions of higher education. The quickly crafted formula was supposed to favor schools with large numbers of students on federal Pell grants, which go to students from low- and moderate-income families.  Pursuant to a  a letter from the Secretary of Education, schools have wide discretion in how they distribute the funds.

This aid reflects something that many people do not appreciate.  As I have written in the past, universities and colleges are major parts of our economy not just in offering expanding opportunities for students but supporting millions of jobs both directly as employees and indirectly as contractors and suppliers.  If we are to stay competitive economically (and solve future pandemics), universities are critical part of such recovery.

The problem that this controversy reveals is that the massive spending in the last two weeks was done virtually on the fly.  Trillions are being spent as both parties demand speed rather than care.  As a result, there is considerable question on the qualifications and restrictions on such money.  There is even greater question how this crippled economy can hope to carry such crushing debt without leaving millions with no future or prospects.

Finally, there will continue to be a controversy over large corporations and institutions receiving stimulus money.  However, most universities are non-for-profits and these endowments are largely the result of donations from alumni.  For that reason, the comparison is a poor one.  That does not mean that all universities and colleges are equal.  The question is whether need should be the most important element in determining aid and the size of that aid.

Yet, looking at just need may favor institutions that serve fewer students or play a smaller role in a community.  It could also favor for-profit institutions, a structure that some of us have long criticized as inimical to educational programs.  In other words, it is more complex than Harvard having a large endowment and a small stimulus check.  Harvard does have many students on Pell grants and the money will go to those students. That is what the Department favored as the suggested distribution.

My point is only that the real debate should be on the level of our spending and the danger of poor tracking and conditioning rules.  The debate over large corporations getting aid is also worthy of debate but I would not include large non-for-profit educational institutions as part of the danger of windfall payments.  I understand if I appear biased as an academic but there are real differences between Costco and Cornell.  One is for profit and one is non-for-profit.  Cornell is supporting research and students.  That fact that Cornell is large means that it has a larger burden in these areas.

Thus, it is always popular to run headlines like “America’s Richest University Grabs Nearly $9 Million In Taxpayer Aid,” on Huffington Post but the problem is not Harvard receiving money due to its Pell grant recipients.  The problem is the fact that trillions are being paid out with the most sketchy controls and conditions.

122 thoughts on “Phi Beta Casha: Harvard Vows To Keep Stimulus Money . . . Then Vows Not To [Updated]”

  1. Fraser and Nyles Crane, 2 overeducated dorks. I know they’re fictional but just the same.

  2. However, in a ranking of undergraduate math programs, Harvard is 1st, Yale is 6th and Princeton is 8th.

    Not the same as the fame of the math faculty wherein Princeton is tops in the world.

    1. That’s interesting. Nice to know that in those fields they are preserving integrity.

  3. Harvard should receive no federal funds so long as it is engaged in a program of deliberate discrimination against qualified Asian students.

    In theory racial discrimination is illegal in this country, but some of the most egregious violators, universities, regularly hold their purses open like Medieval cripples seeking alms on the street corner from the very taxpayers they constantly hector for the sin of not being politically correct.

    1. Depending upon the survey, Princeton ranks 1st in undergraduate teaching, Arizona State ranks 10th and neither Harvard nor Yale appear.

      I had 2 students with Yale degrees in graduate classes. Neither was anything but typical; bright enough but not quick.

      1. Also interesting. ASU has a good reputation in several areas. FSU used to have–maybe may still have–both very good science departments and a very good classics department I took a couple of semesters of Classical Greek there and the instructor was great and showed no mercy. Very demanding course.

        Choosing carefully one can get a superb education away from the Ivy League set.

  4. Pooh-pooh Harvard, pooh-pooh Yale, I got my education in the mail.

    1. You can get your education in the mail, maybe even a better one than you would get in some subjects, but you wouldn’t get the blue ribbon with the medallion around your neck that tells everyone that you are special.

      Lately, it seems the Ivy Leagues are more concerned about money and their cachet than education.

      Do you know any Harvard or Yale graduates? Notice how they remind everyone that they went to Harvard or Yale?

      1. Young – I’ve known some Ivy League grads through work, and the like, and they never brought up they went to Harvard or Yale.

        One friend even suggested not bc of how some ppl react to it…called it the H-bomb.

        That is not to say some who are perhaps more insecure might bring it up in the justification manner to let others know who they are.

        Or even there is some pride to it, for others. Nothing wrong with being proud, to an extent.

        But then some have a snobby agenda to it. Idk. It just depends…person by person, case by case.

        I really believe ppl are ppl and its case by case. I have known some good ppl out of these institutions…perhaps, I am biased.

        1. WW33:

          “I really believe ppl are ppl and its case by case. I have known some good ppl out of these institutions…perhaps, I am biased.”
          One of my complaints about affirmative action is that it takes away the confidence we used to have about certain world-class institutions and their graduates. The Ivies used to produce world-class minds and they still do but there was a much higher bottom anticipated for the rest of the class because you had confidence that merit mattered in admissions and grading. Now you are left to wonder if merit matters or if identity and mindless guilt are the prevailing criteria for a successful Ivy League degree.

          1. Mespo– Yes, the loss of confidence concerns a lot of people. I usually assume an Asian doctor has earned his degree and knows what he is doing. I know some black doctors who are very good, but knowing the system bends the standards down for blacks one often has a flicker of doubt. Ultimately it is painfully unfair to blacks who have earned their way that they are going to be tarnished by the failure to maintain standards across the board.

            If all redheads were eased through school with affirmative action and relaxed standards we would worry to discover our new doctor was a redhead.

            The system is corrupt and it hurts most those it pretends to help.

            1. Young:

              “The system is corrupt and it hurts most those it pretends to help.”
              You know, I was studying Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics tonight and it occurred to me that the corruption you point out is precisely because the university refuses to be what it fundamentally was established to be – a place of learning where merit rises and mediocrity doesn’t. To Aristotle, the perfect essence of the good was faithfulness to the being-at-work which are the same thing. True being-at-work is fulfilling your true purpose in the grace of virtue and not being corrupted into another lesser purpose. A horse was made to run gracefully forward; a man made to think and speak beautifully and there exists a whole hierarchy of those authentic purposes for all things animate and inanimate which is a universal truth even if it is denied as the post-modern world teaches. Your conclusion is precisely what Aristotle says happens when you lose sight of your true being-at-work and your ultimate finest purpose — you harm yourself and others. Colleges have forgotten that to educate the young is their highest purpose and everything else is a corruption of that good.

              1. mespo727272 — Whatever horses were “made for”, horses evolved to run very fast for a short distance, no matter how ungainly, to escape predators on the plains. For moving a longer distance quickly, the bone-jarring trot is used so that riders have to learn to post.

                1. I think I agree with both of you. Horses evolved as David said and then, like dogs, co-evolved with humans to some extent. We serve each other in varying degrees.

                  We have been engaged in genetic engineering by selection since about the Natufian.

                    1. Thanks, interesting article. “The Horse, the Wheel and Language” by David Anthony provides a lot of information on the domedtication of horses. He describes his own research in the field. It is a very good book though he errs in saying that Indo-European languages spread by cultural diffusion while recent genetic studies show it was demic movement, conquest and slaughter.

                    2. Young, demic movement. But especially generic evidence shows nothing about “conquest and slaughter”. With regard to the first farmers north and west of the Alps, the interest was in the places where loess had settled, such as North Germany and the Paris Basin. The hunter-gatherers just went elsewhere, eventually intermarrying.

                    3. David– True with respect to the first farners and the hunter-gatherers but not true with respect to Indo-Europeans with haplogroup Rib and R1a (male) which almost totally replaced existing male types in Europe, much of India and further east to the edge of China, also replacing languages. It is likely you have some variant of R1b and are descended from them.

                    4. The purpose of a fountain in a village square is to provide water.

                      A waterfall has no purpose. It exists as a side effect of natural events.

                      Living things exist for no purpose but because of natural events and like a waterfall change when events, or the environment, change. That one can test.

                    5. “A waterfall has no purpose. It exists as a side effect of natural events.”

                      Young, think purification of water.

                    6. Allan– You respond to my saying a waterfall has no purpose by pointing to purification of water.

                      Okay, what is the purpose of a swamp?

                      Both are natural phenomena with no purpose.

                      If we engineered a waterfall for water purification it would have the purpose we intended. But nature doesn’t have purposes in that sense.

                    7. “Both are natural phenomena with no purpose.”

                      Young, If you are saying waterfalls are inanimate objects then of course waterfalls themselves have no purpose, they just exist. But that is accepted by almost everyone without much discussion. When you say they have no purpose that would imply they are living beings. They aren’t, but to the fish that are alive there is a purpose for waterfalls.

                    8. Young, we can go back and forth on this but inanimate things cannot have a purpose except to those that are alive and utilize their benefits, so why would such a discussion arise? Waterfalls have a purpose for fish. Saying waterfalls have no purpose is near meaningless. I don’t want to fight you on this since I understand what you were intending to say and accept it.

                    9. Allan– You say that for fish there is a purpose to waterfalls.

                      No, fish find a use for them. Not the same.

                      Watefalls don’t care about fish one way or the other.

                  1. Young:
                    Whatever their evolution – a concept unknown to Aristotle — the purpose of the horse is running forward. It surely isn’t backwards. The essential truth of the horse is thus it’s natural purpose. Oh it can do other things to be sure but at its zenith you have Secretariat, and not Mr. Ed.

                    1. mespo727272 — I could equally well state that the ‘purpose’ of the horse phenotype is to perpetuate the horse genotype.

                      But in science we reject Aristotle’s Final Cause as mere teleology. It adds no explanatory value. So we reject Aristotle’s notions of causation entirely, turning to other principles — I intentionally overstate the case, but the notions of an Ultimate Actor and Aquinas’ First Cause are rejected as offering nothing testable.

                    2. The purpose of a fountain in a village square is to provide water.

                      A waterfall has no purpose. It exists as a side effect of natural events.

                      Living things exist for no purpose but because of natural events and like a waterfall change when events, or the environment, change. That one can test.

                    3. I should add that like the village fountain the university was created for a purpose and that idea is being corrupted and betrayed by utter nonsende spreading like kudzu.

                      The U of Oregon is proud of its feminist, post-colonial study of glaciers that seeks more equitable human-ice interactions.

                      That department has gone insane.

                    4. Young:
                      Everything in existence has a purpose. If I put a stone upon a piece of paper in a windstorm, the stone has a purpose, I agree it requires a sentient agency to assign the purpose but the object still has a purpose. Now as for its highest purpose, that is difficult to say in the case of the stone but in the context of the circumstances, it has its highest purpose. For example, using a feather in the same circumstances wouldn’t be the feather’s highest purpose. In the context of Nature, you’d have to decide if it arose from a sentient agency or just happened. If you believe the former, the interlocking nature of Nature suggests a purpose for everything in it. In your example, the waterfall’s highest purpose might be to provide beauty to the observer or oxygenate water for the drinker. In any event, you can deduce a purpose from the agency. If you believe it just happened, you have to explain why purposeless things merely happen.

              2. Unfortunately you are right. The universities are destroying what they pretend to love.

                I think it might be catching up with them. Corporations are placing less value on degrees and the public is wondering if they are getting value for the cost. Mostly they aren’t, of course.

              3. MESPO– You have made me think about ‘purpose’.

                When we got to the point we were living in villages and earlier cities most of the things around us were built with a purpose in mind: streets, villages, temples, tools.

                It is likely we then extended a purely local and human way of looking at things to the universe as a whole–‘What is its purpose? What is the purpose of a horse?’

                There isn’t one. Purpose makes sense in terms of local activities, even to a bird’s building of a nest. But it is probably an error to extend a handy local way of looking at things to anything wider.

                I wonder if hunter-gatherers took much account of purpose? Maybe much of their view of the universe, including what their gods were up to, was along the line of: “Oh Crap! Now What?”

                1. Young – I would posit that all through pre-history and history people have given things they have found, constructed or invented, a purpose.

                  1. Paul– Yes people assigned purposes to things. Nature does not. Nature changes and the living elements of nature adapt. Purpose doesn’t enter into it.

                    Purpose and Progress are ideas we impose on nature to try to understand it, but they have a horizon where they begin to obscure more than they illuminate.

                    You can make a village fountain for the purpose of having fresh water in town and it seems natural to assume the river that feeds the fountain was made for that purpose. It wasn’t.

          2. Mespo – Thank you so much, I am not Ivy-educated, nor a Legacy.

            I will say this, since you mentioned higher bottom.

            If you know you can do nothing, and I mean literally nothing, and get away with it, why would you do more?

            Is it human nature to get the most bang for your buck?

            So, if I can get everything done at my job, within the first 1-2 hr and then just sit there and read or whatever the rest of the day….I will just do that…for efficiency reason.

            Same goes for school, if I realize I can sit there and do nothing, and get away with it, and just cruise along with B- to B+, I don’t need to be an A student, for what…? It’s a lot of extra work for a few extra points, that no one seems to care about anyway…

            If there is merit, and you force the bottom half to Pull Up, and not Zzzz for a B, then you get a better overall class.

            That applies to Ivies and non-Ivies.

              1. Haha, what’s up, Dave…😍

                Doubt it! I quit day 1 due to your incompetence.


            1. “Is it human nature to get the most bang for your buck?”

              WW3, the answer is yes, but the purpose of college is to educate the person for whom the money is paid. You have described the student that gets 50 cents or less on the dollar.

            2. “If you know you can do nothing, and I mean literally nothing, and get away with it, why would you do more?”
              That completely depends on the person’s character and whether they care to develop their soul. A person who thinks virtue matters wouldn’t take that course understanding it’s self-defeating and an abasement of their authentic self. Unless, of course, their flaws in character were so profound to make them such.

              1. 🤔. Mespo – I agree. I guess sometimes some ppl get jaded or cynical about life.

                I think if you get repetitively hit with a stick to the back, and you keep getting up, at some point, maybe you won’t get up anymore.

                Idk, maybe you will. Case by case.

                1. That’s a different mental state.

                  But perhaps has a vesica Pisces overlap with the other mental state.

                  Everything is just a mental state in flux anyhow due to exterior and interior forces at work.

                  I guess what I am off the cuff-ing here is that, I hear you, and I am listening.

          1. Young – there is some truth to your statement.

            There are buy-ins to Ivy Leagues, from uber-wealthy families, and they can be dumb as a box of rocks. But then again, maybe not. Maybe they’re just lazy.

            And then there are Legacy shoe-ins.

            And of course, affirmative action cases too. Maybe they do deserve to be there, and maybe it was just mindless guilt.

            And then you have a group of merit students. In the merit group, you have a sub-section of Naturally Gifted (do nothing, get an A) and then the Try-Hards (spend every waking hour studying to get an A).

            I can tell you I can spot a Naturally Gifted person from a mile away.

            As one judge said, “I know it, when I see it.” Lol. Out of context, but the same application.

            Sometimes the very “gifted” have social issues. How can you be so intelligent, but basic human social skills, just zippo.

            The world works in strange ways. Not everyone has the same what I call “basket of eggs.”. That’s bc Easter or Ostara just passed. If not, I would say “tools in the tool shed.”

            1. WW33– Sounds about right. However there is the odd thing one sees where a person who has the means to be lazy gets swept away with an obsessive intellectual pursuit and devotes his life to it. Henry Cavendish comes to mind, genius with the social skills of a goldfish.

  5. MIT Study: “The Subways Seeded the Massive Coronavirus Epidemicin New York City

    Abstract.New York City’s multitentacled subway system was a major disseminator –if not the principal transmission vehicle –of coronavirus infection during the initial takeoff of the massive epidemic that became evident throughout the city during March 2020. The near shutoff of subway ridership in Manhattan –down by over 90 percent at the end of March –correlates strongly with the substantial increase in the doubling time of new cases in this borough. Maps of subway station turnstile entries, superimposed uponzip code-level maps ofreported coronavirus incidence, are strongly consistent with subway-facilitated disease propagation. Local train lines appear to have a higher propensity to transmit infectionthan express lines. Reciprocal seeding of infection appears to be the best explanation for the emergence of a single hotspot in Midtown West in Manhattan. Bus hubs may have served as secondary transmission routes out to the periphery of the city.,The%20Subways%20Seeded%20the%20Massive%20Coronavirus%20Epidemic%20in%20New%20York%20City,%20DOE,%20HarrisJE_WP2_COVID19_NYC_13-Apr-202.pdf?dl=

    1. “The situation is worst in New York, the nation’s only urban area that is truly dependent on transit. Before the pandemic began, the New York urban area contained 45 percent of the nation’s transit riders. Since the pandemic, the same area has seen 45 percent of Wuhan virus fatalities.

      This isn’t entirely a coincidence, although New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority didn’t help when it forbade its employees to wear masks from March 6 to March 30. More than 70 transit employees and innumerable riders have since died of the virus.”

      This is important because one of the greatest correlations between Covid and recipients is known and we are destroying an entire economic system worrying about opening up and allowing people back to work while the epi-center and publc transportation systems “Makes The Nation More Vulnerable To Disasters Like COVID-19”.

      Let it be known that 70 transportation workers have died from Covid. NYC under a Democratic governor and a Democratic mayor refused to let them wear masks!

      Paint Chips wants testing of virtually 100% to stop Covid. Why not stop public transport and secure transport safely for those emergency workers? Testing, something we have plenty of, doesn’t cure or prevent Covid.

  6. People like Anon can’t get it through their heads that the real problem with the test kits lay on the CDC and FDA. This has been explained numerous times but some are so dull they don’t get it while others are pieces of garbage because they don’t want to get it and instead wish to promote a lie. The short story is that red tape, what Democrats wrap themselves into, destroyed our testing ability and when Trump cut the red tape we got the tests.

    The long story follows in complete form so Anon and some others finally know what happened.

    Here’s Why We Didn’t Have Coronavirus Testing In February
    Posted at 1:01 pm on April 20, 2020

    If you’ve been on Twitter lately you’ve probably noticed an increasing number of people on the left are claiming that President Trump has blood on his hands. Even those who aren’t going quite that far are eager to blame Trump for a “lost month” in February during which the government failed to ramp up testing. For instance:

    The most economically, scientifically, and technologically advanced country on the planet is ranked 38th in tests per person. Donald Trump had to work hard to screw up such a massive advantage. His trust in China lost months, as did his belief COVID-19 would magically go away.

    — Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) April 19, 2020

    Like a lot of partisan claims, there is some truth to this one. It’s true that February could have been a moment to ramp up testing in order to see more clearly how quickly the virus was spreading and it’s true that didn’t happen. Why it didn’t happen is another matter.

    Over the weekend the Washington Post published a deep dive on the problems at the Centers for Disease Control which cost the U.S. about a month of progress. Effort by the CDC to create a coronavirus test began in mid-January after China published the genetic sequence of the virus:

    Those familiar with the events said the design efforts were led by Stephen Lindstrom, an accomplished respiratory virus specialist who was a co-inventor of seven earlier CDC tests for strains of the flu…

    The test kits featured two components that focused on separate regions of the virus’s genome, a standard approach. However, the CDC also outfitted the kits with a third component, a pan-coronavirus segment. That addition sought to identify a wider family of coronaviruses, of which covid-19 is the most recent strain to be observed in humans. Tests that were being developed abroad under sponsorship from the World Health Organization did not include this extra feature.

    In essence, the CDC-designed test kit included and extra segment that would have allowed users to include people who had SARS or similar coronaviruses. It’s not clear what the point of this third segment of the test was but the important point is that only the first two segments of the test kit were needed to identify COVID-19.

    The addition of the third test segment might not have mattered except that it wound up creating a significant problem. The CDC decided to manufacture the test kids “in house” rather than rely on outside labs. And during that process, the reagents used in the third segment of the test became contaminated. We know this because when the CDC sent out the initial batch of test kits, nearly all of them gave false positives on the third segment. Here’s what happened:

    In the fourth week of January, the CDC shipped out the kits to more than two dozen public health labs scattered across the country, from Albany, N.Y., to Richmond, Calif…

    The labs were instructed by the CDC to demonstrate that the test would work before analyzing samples from patients.

    But when those facilities began using the kits to analyze a negative control sample — highly purified water supplied by each lab and free of any genetic material — the tests wrongly signaled the presence of the coronavirus.

    The third segment of the test was supposed to detect a whole range of coronaviruses. But in order to make sure the test was working properly, the labs were running the test with pure water. The test should have reliably given a negative result since there was no virus in the water. Instead, all of the labs got false positives, which indicated one of the reagents provided by the CDC had been contaminated during production.

    Exactly how this contamination happened still isn’t clear but as a result the public labs were in limbo. They had a test showing a false positive. However, the false positives were only appearing on the third, unnecessary segment of the test. In theory, the labs could have continued to use the test without that problematic third segment but that would require special permission from the FDA. Until that was granted, the labs had to use the test as designed. In mid February it seems the CDC plan was to re-manufacture the one contaminated reagent [emphasis added]:

    The first public hint of trouble with the test came during a Feb. 12 press briefing in which the CDC’s Messonnier mentioned unspecified “issues” bedeviling the public health labs. At the time, most American clinics and hospitals remained unable to test for the coronavirus…

    “We think that the issue at the states can be explained by one reagent that isn’t performing as it should consistently, and that’s why we are remanufacturing that reagent,” she said.

    At the public health labs, officials struggled to figure out what was wrong. Some labs determined that the test would work without the third component. But under the CDC’s emergency instructions, health officials had to use the test as it had been designed.

    On February 23, a top FDA official named Timothy Stenzel finally went to the CDC lab in Atlanta to sort out what was going on.

    During his visit in Atlanta, Stenzel determined that the problems with the coronavirus test were caused by the CDC’s manufacturing, not the design, according to the FDA. The shortcomings with the test kits were attributable to what the FDA described as a “manufacturing issue.’’

    Stenzel advised CDC officials to stop making the kits in-house…

    The FDA on Feb. 26 informed the CDC by email that the labs could begin testing samples while skipping the third component.

    To sum all of this up, we had a test designed and manufactured by late January, but initial validation showed one segment of the test had been contaminated. That third segment wasn’t necessary to test patients for COVID-19 but only the FDA could allow the labs to perform tests without using the third segment. For some reason, it took the FDA nearly a month to get to the bottom of the problem. Why was that exactly?

    There’s one paragraph in the story which states, “Stenzel for nearly a month could not determine, based on information provided by the CDC, whether the kits were failing because of a ‘design or manufacturing issue.’’’ That’s pretty thin but it’s not hard to imagine there were frequent calls between the FDA and the CDC in February. The CDC was saying, hey, we think we’ve got this figured out just give us a few more days. And the FDA was on the other end of those calls saying, hey, we’re in a hurry, can’t we run the tests without the third segment? Finally in the last week of February the FDA got tired of the BS, showed up at the lab, said no more in-house manufacturing of tests and allowed labs to run the tests without the 3rd segment.

    But this wasn’t the only problem. While all of this was happening, competent outside labs were stalled in creating their own alternative tests because once the U.S. declared a public health emergency, which it did in late January, the FDA had to approve any outside tests. Anyone who wanted to create their own test would face reams of FDA paperwork to secure an “emergency use authorization,” something many hospital labs didn’t begin to know how to get:

    Academic hospitals, which have laboratories that routinely develop tests to use on their patients, began to get increasingly anxious about the nation being dependent on the CDC lab. They considered pursuing FDA approval for their tests but complained they didn’t have the resources or expertise — or access to crucial materials such as the virus itself — for the complicated application process required during a public health emergency.

    “When the CDC test was delayed, then the cases started appearing outside of China, there should have been a quicker response to get diagnostic testing going” by easing regulations on hospital labs, said Melissa Miller, director of the clinical molecular microbiology laboratory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.

    During the Zika outbreak, some laboratories developed their own tests and got letters from the FDA notifying them that their tests had not been approved. Even as coronavirus testing remained limited nationwide, the CDC reminded hospitals on Feb. 18 that they shouldn’t do their own testing without an “emergency use authorization” from the FDA.

    So the FDA not only didn’t sort out the mess at the CDC quickly, it also warned everyone else to stay on the sidelines unless they’d gone through a laborious approval process. The outcome of all of this is that we had very little testing happening in February.

    A combination of mistakes and red tape cost us at least several weeks when we should have been moving forward with testing. That may be President Trump’s fault in the “buck stops here” ultimate sense but blaming him directly for a series of missteps by highly trained professionals seems to overlook the real problem: Bureaucracies don’t respond well, or quickly, to new challenges.

    1. IOW, problems in the permanent government, which is unsurprising. We don’t have a talent for building public bureaucracies in this country. (NB, Glenn Reynolds has been complaining about the CDC for a dozen years or more; some of the problems in its institutional culture have been known by outsiders for some time.

      (Our intrepid partisan warriors will tell us it would have worked swimmingly if Trump hadn’t re-arranged the deck chairs at the NSC).

      You cannot reason someone out of a position they were never reasoned into.

  7. Harvard has a $40 billion endowment. Harvard shouldn’t have even been considered for any government money.

  8. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez And Jerry Nadler Want $4 Billion In Coronavirus Funding For Museums

    Last month, the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City (the Met) – an organization with a $3.6 billion endowment – kicked off a petition campaign lobbying for $4 billion more in taxpayer assistance to America’s museums and cultural non-profits.

    The Democrats are trying to destroy the economy with pork denying those in true need. What pigs.


    Update (4/22/2020): After all after coming under pressure from President Trump, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Harvard has announced that it won’t take coronavirus stimulus funds after all, a reversal from their prior position that they would use the money set aside in the coronavirus stimulus for “direct assistance to students.”

    “There has been confusion in recent days about funds allocated to Harvard as part of the CARES act,” reads a statement,” which notes that the funds were automatically allocated to them, and that they “did not apply for this support, nor has it requested, received or accessed these funds.”

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Harvard was trying to give Trump a loss, but instead Trump now has a gain.

      1. “… instead Trump now has a gain.”

        Only in Allan’s little mind.

      2. “Harvard was trying to give Trump a loss…”

        What the eff are you talking about?

      3. The only things Trump gains are weight and disapproval numbers. He tries to take credit for everything good in this country, like the life-saving recommendations by the CDC doctors, for Congress’s appropriation of money to individuals and small businesses, which Nancy Pelosi fought hard for, and for the next round of stimulus money that she also fought McConnell hard for. Of course, McConnell had to be certain to reward wealthy contributors as part of the deal, but Trump’s not condemning the loss of tax revenue due to this.

        He wants praise and glory, but refuses to take responsibility for his dismantling of the pandemic rapid response team, for lying about COVID-19 being a “hoax”, for saying 15 cases would be 0 cases, for Kellyanne and Kudlow claiming the virus was “contained”, for not paying attention to briefings when there were only a handful of cases, and for the economy crashing, when this pandemic could have been controlled much better, which would have saved lives and jobs.

        Pressure against Harvard to give back the money came from all over the place, and it didn’t even start with Trump.

      4. Agreed, Allan

        Trump won this round just like in 2016 and everything else since then

        Liberal CNNLOL lost as did all of the liberal talking points on the Harvard optics

        We see history repeating itself: the liberals still think they can control the narrative just like CCP Wuhan Virus. Just like with Hitlery’s expected landslide win against Trump, as predicted by CNNLOL and all of the liberal media, they lost in 2016 and all of their TDS investigations.

        Let them eat ice cream…. or the heads of aborted babies

        1. Blah, blah, blah…nonsense…blah, blah, blah…more nonsense.. Repeat.

          What a bunch of crazy drivel at 5:36 — by one of Turley’s nutters.

        2. All we need now is a video of Nancy eating the head of aborted babies. One wonders how much she spent on a freezer to store those tasty morsels. Maybe CNNLOL can tell us!

  10. Freedom and Free Enterprise Per:

    Right to Private Property (absolute/unqualified)

    Denial of Power of Congress to Tax For Individual Welfare, Charity or Redistribution

    Denial of Power of Congress to Regulate Other Than Money, the Flow of Commerce and Land and Naval Forces.

    – U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights

  11. “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”

    – Karl Marx

  12. “I understand if I appear biased as an academic but there are real differences between Costco and Cornell. One is for profit and one is non-for-profit.”
    Our countries campuses have gone to seed, expecting the public to fund their elitist anti-American drivel and protecting the educational royalty’s lavish lifestyles. Storm Harvard Yard, tax their endowments, cut their enrollments, slash their administrative staffs (including those running the diversity farce) and make those professors do an honest day’s work for a change. It’ll do ’em good to see what life is like for most people.

    BTW if you don’t think universities aren’t in the profits business, scan your email for the donation begging that is all-the-time. I prefer the bums on the street with their little signs; at least you figure your cash is going for something good like a bottle of cheap muscatel and not some moronic womyn’s studies course.

    1. Yeah, that’s where most of the money goes in higher education, Women’s Studies.

      What ignorant tripe

      1. Anon – you ignorant slut. Women’s Studies is the perfect place for Harvard to waste these money. Now, they are saying it is going to the students, however, that just mean moving zeros around.

        1. “Anon – you ignorant slut. ”

          Paul, what an elegant phrase and how appropriate.

            1. Paul, that you stole it isn’t the important thing. You placed the label exactly where it belonged and that gave me a bigger laugh than SNL.

            1. I was expecting Eric Idle’s classic impression of Margaret Thatcher on SNL saying that phrase, but the Sith Lords at NBC Universal seem to have whined to YouTube every time it was posted. Damn.

        2. Paul, it is POOR low wages ignorant slut

          “Median wages among those with bachelor’s degrees differ considerably. Typically, those who majored in computer or electrical and electronics engineering, or computer and information sciences, earn about $58,000-$61,000 a year after graduating and $87,000-$94,000 eight years after getting a diploma. The comparable figures for sociology, English, literature and psychology degrees were $24,000-$25,000 and $42,000-$44,000. Initial low earnings are correlated with future low earnings, just as higher earnings just out of college usually signal a long-term trajectory of higher earnings.

          Surprisingly, given the intense public focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, math, biology and chemistry majors typically have paychecks below the median for all bachelor’s degrees both one and eight years after graduation.”

      2. Actually, expenditures on victimology programs are extraordinary considering almost no one gets a degree in one of those subjects. The one with the largest census is women’s studies, in which about 1,400 baccalaureate degrees are awarded each year (out of 1.9 million annual baccalaureate awards. The arts and sciences faculty I know best awarded about 2 degrees in women’s studies in a typical year, and one of these would be a double-major who’d studied an authentic discipline. The Classics department produced about 8 degrees a year, and wasn’t corrupting the curriculum of the other departments. There is no student demand for victimology programs. It’s a purely supply side phenomenon driven by the faculty’s desire to provide patronage to privileged political interests. And they are not authentic disciplines. Sociology is authentic, just badly corrupted in our era.

        I used to share an office suite with the diversity staff where I worked. Pleasant people face-to-face performing utter makework.

    2. For-profit and not-for-profit businesses are almost identical except for the exemption code. I personally believe the charity exemption should end or tax deductibility should only be for that portion that ends up in the end users hands ending the deduction for a lot of not-for-profit companies including the one’s I personally support.

  13. Obviously they don’t need it. In this one bad stupid want, they have scotched their carefully tended reputations in a way that nobody who hears this will ever forget.

    They probably just botched their own fundraising too.

    This is what I mean when i say “greedy incompetent bureaucrats”
    they think they are so smart but they are actually quite stupid

    Maybe however there could be a small special restricted fund. The purpose, only be used to fund the build of special on-campus courtrooms, and gallows platforms.

    As part of the appropriations bill, a special criminal statute could be attached which would allow for the trial and public flogging of greedy incompetent university bureaucrats. Capital punishments will be reserved for university officers and directors/ trustees.

    After the new penal statute and appropriations bill has been passed, let the due process trials and executions to follow them proceed.

    Football stadiums will be good venues for these trials perhaps?

    1. Kurtz, your opinion is beneath you and completely uninformed as to the purpose of this section of the bill and Harvard’s use of it which is exactly the same thing – Pell grant students, not Harvard.

      1. Pell Grants get paid to Harvard right?

        Then Harvard gets the money same difference.

        See how easy that is?

        You can take my “legislative proposal” tongue in cheek

        A more modest proposal would be revoking the non-profit tax privileged status of all universities since they are among the stinking richest outfits in the world and if you think there’s anything “nonprofit” about them you’re not in tune to reality

        let’s see them start paying their fair share of property taxes to munincipalities for starters

        you can throw the churches in with that too if you won’t I dont care., they’re under-taxed as well

        big business and them are all in cahoots. every fat bloated bureaucracy needs a severe beating now is my feeling. it’s the little people in America that pay through the teeth and nothing much will change until the hangings begin

        1. Olly, I think your righteous indignation would be better aimed at this:

          “..Inside the historic $2.2 trillion relief package passed by Congress last month is a tax change that overwhelmingly benefits millionaires.

          “The Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that 43,000 people making more than $1 million would owe roughly $70 billion less in taxes this year because of the suspension.

          More than 80 percent of the benefits from the new provision will go to Americans earning more than $1 million annually, according to a report released last week by the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation. Less than 3 percent of the benefits from the change will go to people earning less than $100,000 a year.

          The change is estimated to cost taxpayers about $90 billion in 2020 and will add roughly $170 billion to the federal deficit over the next decade, the congressional committee’s report found…….”

          The heightened inequality in America since the 1980s – note the date – is not because Universities are taking it. The rich are taking it.

          1. the universities are hand in glove with “rich people.” & definitely big business.

            just look into the development departments and see what they do. stroke rich people for big donations is 80% of it. the payback for richie rich is not just naming opportunities, it is a lot more subtle stuff than that

            the bureaucratic elite at most major universities could be switched out with the bureaucratic elites of big business and it would not make a big difference either way once they were all up to speed on their new bean counting softwares.

            oh wait, they all use the same suites of software anyways, what was I thinking?

            take a look at the trustee positions in private universities and i guarantee you will always find some fatcat capitalists on board.

            populists and republicans often don’t perceive how the “progressive agenda” has actually favored American big business in a big way for the past 70 years or so if not more. i could write a book on this but what’s the point.

            I am not a total foe of universities, I appreciate the STEM research.

            And occasionally the HR departments screw up and let a good professor in the humanities hang on. but that’s the exception not the rule. Usually just window dressing if they’re noticed at all.

          2. Without reading the article or reading the bill, I’m going to ask a couple of questions.

            1. The title states a tax benefit for millionaires that will cost taxpayers. Aren’t millionaires also taxpayers? Does this tax benefit mean that all taxpayers other than millionaires have to pay $90 billion more in taxes to cover the shortage?

            2. What percentage of America’s wealth is held by millionaires and billionaires? Let’s for argument sake assume that 3% of Americans hold 90% of America’s wealth. Is it reasonable to assume any financial package providing tax benefits would be progressively distributed in proportion to our progressive tax system?

            There is no way these financial stimulus packages have developed adequate controls like means testing to ensure the funds are going where they are most needed. In my business practice, our phone lines blew up with clients asking for assistance in putting together their PPP applications. Dangling free money from the government shines a very bright light on human nature. It’s not pretty.

  14. Go to Harvard?
    Did ya go to Yale?
    You’re better off to have gone to jail!

  15. Trillions are being spent as both parties demand speed rather than care.

    Both parties? Really?

    “But I think what you’re hearing from all of us on the call is that we have real concerns about giving away leverage now without getting some of the priorities we need.”

    1. I seem to recall that Trump removed oversight from these give-away programs. And the Rs agree.

      1. Either you recall or you don’t recall. There is no seem to recall. Cite the evidence where President Trump opposed oversight for these programs (full context).

        I’ll wait.

      2. There is oversight on these programs. The oversight you are talking about is political oversight which is meant to influence how the money is spent based on partisan desires.

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