Rebekah Jones Wiki – Rebekah Jones Biography
Rebekah Jones was a Florida Data Scientist, who Says She Was Fired for Not Changing COVID-19 Stats. In a separate message, however, she said that some of her comments were misinterpreted. The Florida governor is disputing her claims, saying she was fired for insubordination and that she’s facing unrelated criminal charges. Jones, meanwhile, is raising money for her parents after their home was destroyed by a tornado in April.
In a press conference, DeSantis said that Jones was under “active criminal charges” connected to cyberstalking.
Syracuse University reported that Jones has a dual degree in geography and journalism. She has a master’s degree in geography and mass communication from Louisiana State University, MSN reported.
‘She’s not a data scientist. She’s somebody that’s got a degree in journalism, communication & geography.’
Gov. DeSantis, asked again about the firing of Rebekah Jones, says she was putting data on the portal that scientists didn’t believe was valid.https://t.co/jTzJmKk8X0 pic.twitter.com/tlUaocPJkZ
— WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) May 20, 2020
Who is Rebekah Jones?
Rebekah Jones was the manager of the Florida Department of Healths’ Geographic Information System team, NPR reported. As part of her job, she helped lead the team that created the dashboard of COVID-19 statistics for the state, called “Florida’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard.”
What happened with Rebekah Jones?
Syracuse University reported that Jones built Florida’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance dashboard. She told the university: “I started from scratch and decided what I thought was important. I really wanted people to be able to quickly, easily and clearly understand what the numbers are in our state.”
On April 20, Dr. Deborah Birx praised the dashboard, saying: “This is how we have to inform the American public, and this is where the American public will develop confidence in each of their counties and local governments.”
But later in an email in May, Jones told a group of subscribers to the COVID-19 updates that she and her office would not be managing the dashboard any longer, as she had been removed from that position.
Jones told CBS 12 in an email that she was let go because she wouldn’t “manually change data to drum up support for the plan to reopen.” She said after she refused to censor data, she was removed. So far, CBS 12 appears to be the only publication that she made that specific comment to.
The Florida dashboard includes a count for total cases, Florida residents testing positive, hospitalizations, and deaths. The chart has a Florida map updated each day at 11 a.m. Eastern and charts showing recent data for Florida residents over the last 30 days. The charts include new cases of residents per day and resident deaths per day. The dashboard also has tabs for showing percent positive for laboratory testing, cases by county and ZIP code, and other health metrics.
Jones had objected to removing records that listed symptoms or positive test results before they were officially announced, Tampa Bay Times reported after reviewing internal emails. The day before she was removed, reporters had asked about an “EventDate” field on the dashboard that showed when people first had symptoms or positive test results. Some of those dates were as early as January 1, prior to the first confirmed cases in March. The column with the data was later removed on the afternoon of May 4 and didn’t reappear until the evening of May 5, the Tampa Bay Times shared.
Rebekah Jones Statements
In an email to her supervisor on a Saturday, the day after she wrote the COVID-19 subscribers list, Jones said that some of her comments had been misinterpreted, Tampa Bay Times reported.
She told the Sun-Sentinel that she was surprised by how controversial her email had been. She said when she sent the mass email, she was tired and had been working long hours.
In an email she sent to the IT Director, which the Sun-Sentinel obtained, she wrote: “What I meant when I said don’t expect the same level of accessibility is that they are busy and can’t answer every single email they get right away, and that it was ridiculous that I managed to do it in the first place, and that I was tired and needed a break from working two months straight and am finally taking a vacation. Is this one of those stupid things I shouldn’t have said?”
But at another point, she told CBS 12 that she was removed when she wouldn’t “manually change data to drum up support for the plan to reopen.” It’s not clear when she told CBS 12 this compared to when she told the Sun-Sentinel that she was surprised by the controversy.