Florida data technician Rebekah Jones’ history with the state’s health department is messy. But because the media despises Republican governors like Ron DeSantis for choosing not to lock their respective states down during the pandemic, Jones became an instant media darling after she was fired in May due to alleged insubordination and unauthorized changes made to the state’s official coronavirus dashboard.

She was interviewed numerous times including by CNN’s Chris Cuomo and claimed her employment was terminated after she supposedly refused to manipulate Florida’s data to portray DeSantis in a more flattering light and in such a way as to better justify the state’s plans to reopen.

Her story was branded as the gospel truth, and she was treated as a heroic whistleblower despite all the information that ran totally contrary to the established narratives about DeSantis and the state’s data.

As I previously noted, some of those inconvenient facts included the fact that Jones was not the “architect” of Florida’s COVID dashboard, as some media outlets claimed, nor was she a coronavirus “scientist” as other media outlets like NPR and The Guardian claimed.

To put it another way, Jones was about as much of a “scientist” as Jill Biden is a “doctor.”

Most importantly, she was not asked to “manipulate” data, as Tallahassee Reports documented extensively here.

Jones started her own Florida COVID dashboard after she was let go and has repeatedly claimed she was a victim of what she says has been Florida’s attempt to mask the data.

On the morning of December 7th, Jones was treated to a visit from the Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement (FDLE) after a complaint had been filed by the Dept. of Health claiming someone hacked into their emergency messaging system.

After they entered her home, the FDLE reportedly seized all her tech equipment. Jones claimed it was retaliation from Gov. DeSantis for “speaking truth to power” in the months after her firing.

In a statement issued to the media after her equipment was taken, the FDLE was very specific as to why they were there – and it didn’t sound like it had anything to do with any alleged retaliation:

The FDLE said in its statement that the search warrant was issued for Jones’ Tallahassee home and it began an investigation “after receiving a complaint from the Department of Health regarding unauthorized access to a Department of Health messaging system which is part of an emergency alert system, to be used for emergencies only. Agents believe someone at the residence on Centerville Court illegally accessed the system.”


In an affidavit signed by FDLE investigator Noel Pratt on Dec. 3, he concluded the email message was sent to approximately 1,750 accounts before it was discovered. Pratt said in the affidavit that he tracked down the IP address of the computer associated with the email and it directed him to Jones’ home address, which he said was probable cause to conduct a search of her property and seize her computers.

But because everything is stupid, three weeks after Jones rushed to the Twitter machine to proclaim DeSantis was baselessly targeting and harassing her using law enforcement as a weapon, she was awarded with Forbes Technology’s first-ever “person of the year” distinction:

The data scientist responsible for Florida’s highly praised Covid-19 tracking dashboard came to national attention in December after the police raided her home, guns drawn, and seized her computer and smartphone. Fired in May from the state’s Department of Health for what she says was a refusal to manipulate data, Rebekah Jones launched an independent Covid-19 tracking dashboard and, later, a dashboard tracking cases in schools. Florida officials claim that unauthorized access to the state’s emergency alert system was traced to an IP address associated with her account, an accusation Jones denies. Regardless, she is the latest technologist who stepped up to fill the vacuum left by governments during Covid-19.

Naturally, Jones gushed when she heard the news:

Others, however, saw the “award” for what it was:

I’m not sure which is worse: Jones winning this award or NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo winning the International Emmy Founders Award “in recognition of his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and his masterful use of television to inform and calm people around the world.”

But one thing I do know is that supposedly prestigious awards are becoming increasingly worthless by the day considering the primary criteria putting people in the running for them apparently revolves around having leftist/”woke” political leanings.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —


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