Why Was Rebekah Jones Fired From the Florida Department of Health?

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Since geographic knowledge scientist Rebekah Jones was fired from the Florida Division of Well being in 2020, she has spoken out at size on Twitter and on information reveals about her criticisms of how the state and Governor Ron DeSantis are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

Rebekah was employed to be a Geographic Data System analyst for the Florida Division of Well being in Tallahassee in November of 2019, and he or she maintained the publish till Might of 2020. 

Her group was tasked with creating a knowledge dashboard to comprehensively show the variety of instances, deaths, and testing places within the state of Florida. 

Whereas Rebekah views herself as a whistleblower who’s combatting state censorship, state data point out a distinct story.

Why was Rebekah Jones fired? Hold studying to seek out out what she mentioned about her launch from her job and what the state has revealed about it.

Why was Rebekah Jones fired?

When the coronavirus started to actively unfold in the US within the spring of 2020, geographic knowledge scientist Rebekah Jones led a group on the Florida Division of Well being to create a dashboard of knowledge. This group, which was comprised of knowledge scientists and well being officers, assembled the dashboard with knowledge relating to the unfold of the lethal virus within the state.

The portal, which was made obtainable to the general public, allowed individuals to simply keep up to date on the variety of instances, deaths, and data relating to testing.

In keeping with Florida As we speak, within the weeks main as much as Rebekah’s final firing, the location encountered points with loading, and a few data could be lacking.

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The scientist was formally fired from Florida’s COVID-19 Knowledge and Surveillance Dashboard on Might 5, 2020. 

After Rebekah was launched from her place, she went public along with her considerations relating to the state’s dealing with of the coronavirus. 

Rebekah despatched an e-mail to knowledge customers about her firing 10 days later, on Might 15, 2020. The correspondence expressed her worries relating to the state’s openness to sharing her knowledge portal to the general public. 

Supply: Twitter

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Within the e-mail, per Florida As we speak, Rebekah mentioned that she was let go for “causes past my division’s management,” and that her workplace was not in command of the dashboard anymore.

She additionally shared that, as a result of she wasn’t a part of the challenge anymore, she was uncertain what data was being restricted from public view. 

“As a phrase of warning, I’d not anticipate the brand new group to proceed the identical stage of accessibility and transparency that I made central to the method through the first two months,” she wrote, per Florida As we speak. “In any case, my dedication to each is essentially (arguably completely) the rationale I’m now not managing it.”

Upon studying of Rebekah’s firing, many members of the general public expressed concern over what it meant for the transparency of the portal. 

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She later accused the Florida Division of Well being of asking her to slant her knowledge to go together with the state’s purpose and motion plan to reopen the state. She claimed that this was one of many important explanation why she was fired. State data indicated that she was launched for violating coverage by publicly making feedback concerning the knowledge. 

A number of warnings had been issued to Rebekah previous to her firing.  

Supply: Twitter

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Within the months since Rebekah was fired, the 31-year-old has accomplished interviews on CNN, NPR, CBS Miami, and he or she’s been profiled as a pandemic professional by main shops together with Time, Medium, and The Washington Submit. 

Rebekah Jones’ home was raided in December of 2020.

On Dec. 7, 2020, a search warrant was executed by the Florida Division of Regulation Enforcement to go looking Rebekah Jones’ dwelling. The purpose of the raid was to find out whether or not Rebekah used a state authorities messaging system with out permission in November of 2020. If she had, she might have inspired present workers to talk out concerning the deaths attributable to the virus. 

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In keeping with the affidavit, the message inspired workers to talk out earlier than “one other 17,000 individuals are lifeless.” The message was traced to Rebekah’s dwelling, per the assertion.

Rebekah herself advised CNN that she formally misplaced entry to the messaging service when she was fired. She denied sending the message in query.

On Twitter, Rebekah posted a video of the raid, which was taken on a house safety digicam. She claimed that the officers had weapons drawn, and that it affected her two youngsters. 

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Gretl Plessinger, the division’s spokesperson, advised CNN that the brokers knocked on Rebekah’s door for 20 minutes to no avail. She mentioned that Rebekah’s members of the family had been really upstairs when the brokers did finally enter the house. 

In her Twitter thread concerning the search, Rebekah accused the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, of being behind the raid. 

The governor didn’t explicitly touch upon the Dec. 7 raid, however he had beforehand spoken out about Rebekah’s historical past of “insubordination,” and he shared that he believed that she ought to have been fired sooner. 

About the author


Derek is the great gaming geek for longer than he cares to admit and love everything about the gaming world. He is connected with tech work from the last five years and always loves to learn and writer new about the current technology. You can mail him @ derek@rexweyler.com.

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