Former Florida Data Scientist Alleges State Is Manipulating COVID-19 Case and Death Data

Edward Kim  |

Image: Screenshot, June 24 2020. Source: CNN.com

Rebekah Jones, who created the Florida Department of Health's COVID-19 dashboard, alleges that the state has been manipulating data on cases and deaths in order to make it appear as if the state has the coronavirus under control.

Jones, who was fired in May after she questioned the transparency of Florida's publicly released data (the state said that she was removed for violating a public comment policy), has since launched her own dashboard, whose numbers are higher than those that the state officially reports.

Tuesday late afternoon on Twitter, Jones alleged in a series of tweets that Department of Health employees had been told to alter and delete numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths to make it look like "Florida is improving next week in the leadup to July 4."

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Jones appeared on CNN New Day today to discuss her damning tweets.

I wouldn't come forward with anything unless I had vetted it myself fully. There was a lot of pressure when I was first fired for not changing the numbers, to speak toward the Governor's [Ron DeSantis] role or this greater conspiracy, [but] I was very clear, I never said any of that. I didn't have any personal evidence that any of that was going on [at that time]. There are a few brave souls at DOH who still talk to me and communicate with me. They’ve forwarded me emails, communications, other documentation. I have checked my numbers myself through the data and the information that the DOH publishes and unfortunately, that does seem to be what's going on.
Rebekah Jones

The official data being released by Florida is already dire enough, but If even a fraction of what Jones alleges is true, the Florida Department of Health and Governor DeSantis have a lot of explaining to do.

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Edward Kim is Managing Editor of Equities News.

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Source: Equities News


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