|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Architect of Florida's coronavirus dashboard says
Architect of Florida's coronavirus dashboard says she was fired for not
May 19, 2020 | 11:03am | Updated May 19, 2020 | 4:37pm
The woman behind Florida’s digital coronavirus dashboard claims she’s
been booted from her post — for refusing to doctor data to support the
state’s plan to reopen.
Rebekah Jones said that for “reasons beyond my division’s control,” she
was removed from her position as the architect and manager of the
Sunshine State’s interactive site on May 5, Florida Today reported.
In an email to CBS12 News, Jones said her removal was “not voluntary”
and that it was because she refused to “manually change data to drum up
support for the plan to reopen.”
She announced her ouster last week in an email to colleagues, saying her
department is no longer responsible for updating information on the site
“in any shape or form.”
“I understand, appreciate, and even share your concern about all the
dramatic changes that have occurred and those that are yet to come,”
“As a word of caution, I would not expect the new team to continue the
same level of accessibility and transparency that I made central to the
process during the first two months. After all, my commitment to both is
largely (arguably entirely) the reason I am no longer managing it.”
Jones said she was in the dark about the team’s objectives going forward
and “what data they are now restricting.”
She led a team of Florida Department of Health scientists and public
health officers that created the dashboard, applauded for its
accessibility by Dr. Deborah Birx last month.
“That’s the kind of knowledge and power we need to put into the hands of
American people so that they can see where the virus is, where the cases
are, and make decisions,” Birx told CBS’ “Face the Nation” at the time.
The site, however, crashed and went offline, Florida Today reported,
noting that certain information went missing or was hard to access.
Enlarge ImageRebekah Jones at the Florida Department of Health
Florida has 46,442 total cases of COVID-19 with nearly 2,000 deaths.
The state Department of Health didn’t return messages from Florida Today
or CBS12 News.
Cops raid home of scientist who said she was fired for not doctoring
December 7, 2020 | 8:47pm | Updated December 7, 2020 | 8:47pm
Florida police on Monday raided the home of a former state data
scientist who claimed she was fired from the Department of Health for
refusing to doctor coronavirus figures.
Rebekah Jones posted video on Twitter showing officers with the Florida
Department of Law Enforcement drawing their guns as they entered her
house in Tallahassee.
“They pointed a gun in my face. They pointed guns at my kids,” she wrote.
Jones — who has been a vocal critic of Gov. DeSantis’ handling of the
pandemic since she was canned in May — said agents seized her phone and
“They claimed it was about a security breach. This was DeSantis. He sent
the gestapo,” she wrote.
A police spokeswoman confirmed that officers served a search warrant at
Jones’ home, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.
The warrant stemmed from an investigation into an alleged hack of the
Department of Health’s messaging alert system used for emergencies.
On Nov. 10, someone used the alert system to send a message stating:
“It’s time to speak up before another 17,000 people are dead. You know
this is wrong. You don’t have to be a part of this. Be a hero. Speak out
before it’s too late,” the newspaper reported.
About 1,750 of the messages went out before delivery was stopped,
according to the search warrant.
Agents suspect someone at Jones’ home “illegally accessed the system,”
the police spokeswoman said.
Jones denied hacking the system.
“I have never had access to that system,” she told the Sun Sentinel. “I
am not a hacker. I do data statistics and analysis.”
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