UPDATED Oversight of Ducey’s Arizona Coronavirus Relief Fund unknown

coronavirus covid-19 money

***UPDATED: Less than an hour after this story was published, the Arizona Commerce Authority provided information on the people who have been chosen to direct the Arizona Coronavirus Relief Fund and the total raised.

The committee members are:

  • Nicole Bidwill, an owner and executive for the Arizona Cardinals
  • Eileen Klein, the former president of the Arizona Board of Regents
  • Dan Mahoney, a partner at the law firm Snell & Wilmner
  • Tina Marie Tentori, the executive director of the APS Foundation
  • Sandra Watson, the president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority

The ACA said there has been $1,485,911 donated to the Arizona Coronavirus Relief Fund. “We’re in the process of updating the website with this information,” ACA Executive Vice President Susan Marie said.

The original story is below.

More than a week after Gov. Doug Ducey announced the launch of a nonprofit Coronavirus Relief Fund and website to provide resources to people affected by COVID-19 and be a vehicle for online fundraising, it is unknown who will be making decisions about that money, how much has been raised and how it will be spent.

Ducey announced the fund and the website, ArizonaTogether.org, on March 24. When the fund launched, the Arizona Cardinals football team announced it had made a $1 million donation

“As a team, we will continue to work on additional ways to make a difference and know that as a community we will get through this challenging time together,” Cardinals President Michael Bidwill said in a statement announcing the donation. 

Bidwill is a board member of the Arizona Commerce Authority, a quasi-autonomous state agency over which the governor exercises a great deal of influence. The ACA’s downtown Phoenix address is listed as where donors can mail checks for the Coronavirus Relief Fund

The ACA will be the administrative manager of the fund, said Ducey spokesman Patrick Ptak. But he said the board that will guide the fund has not been appointed yet.

“A committee of public and private sector leaders will be named to make decisions about where the funds are directed,” he said in an email to Arizona Mirror

Ptak said the amount in the fund will be made public on the website. However, that has not happened. 

So far, two big name donations have been announced. In addition to the seed money from the Cardinals, Arizona Public Service announced it had made a $250,000 donation

The funds are entirely separate from the $50 million that were set aside from the rainy day fund as part of the “skinny budget” passed by the legislature last month

“The committee will review requests from nonprofits seeking support,” Susan Marie, executive vice president for the ACA, told the Mirror, adding that the yet-to-be-appointed committee will be “working very closely with and receiving input from philanthropic community leaders in Arizona.” 

It is unclear who will be on this committee and requests by the Mirror to find out the exact amount in the fund were not answered. 

Marie said that the committee will also work with the private sector to secure “in-kind” or “lowest possible price point” for certain needs. An example she gave was for a school to access e-learning tools. 

How you can tell if you might be ill

Symptoms of the coronavirus resemble that of the flu. So, if you’re experiencing coughing, fever, difficulty breathing, or shortness of breath, you should consider getting checked out. Call your primary care physician or visit an urgent care center or emergency room — but call the health care provider before you go so they can be prepared for your arrival. The Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center is taking COVID-19 calls: 1-844-542-8201

How the coronavirus spreads

  • Through the air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it

How to prevent spreading coronavirus

  • Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow. Don’t use your hands.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Clean surfaces frequently, including counter tops, light switches, cell phones, remotes, and other frequently touched items.
  • Contain: If you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better. Once symptoms are gone experts recommend staying home an additional 72 hours.