Fired Florida Covid Data Tech Wins Forbes’ ‘Tech Person of the Year’ Award
Rebekah Jones “is the latest technologist who stepped up to fill the vacuum left by governments during Covid-19”
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:
I got named Nerd of the Year by @Forbes @ForbesTech!
I never thought I'd be this excited to be recognized singularly for being a geek!!!!
I'd like to thank @HP, @Esri, @rstudio, @PythonStack and all my fellow nerds for this tremendous honor! 😁😛@ForbesWomen @thecovidmonitor https://t.co/ZWKoE42xXb
— Rebekah Jones (@GeoRebekah) December 28, 2020
Others, however, saw the “award” for what it was:
For manipulating data to make a governor she hates look bad?
— eric (@eriContrarian) January 1, 2021
It’s amazing how so many major institutions are tilted one way politically.
It’s amazing to behold.
— FilmScoreLove (@ScoreAndOST) January 1, 2021
SpaceX launched a private sector mission into space, but this data entry person owned the cons when she was proven to have completely made up a lie that made Ron DeSantis look bad about COVID and then hacked government servers.
And the award goes to… https://t.co/5Tz9RVY3zR
— Cʜɪᴢᴀᴅ ⚜️🥃 (@AUChizad) January 2, 2021
In the same year that, for the first time, a private company sent humans to outer space on an reusable rocket, Forbes names ::checks notes:: the geographer fired by the state & has allegedly created a revenge porn site featuring her then student but
— ? Wildest ??☠️ Ride ? (@Wildest_Ride) January 1, 2021
For the love of God, @Forbes…
SHE NEVER WAS ABLE TO PROVE A SINGLE DAMN THING.
I know this fact is problematic for some… But still is true.
Damn, can't believe your name is still associated with this mess @SteveForbesCEO… https://t.co/DgIga6Lv6D
— Pradheep J. Shanker (@Neoavatara) January 1, 2021
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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China has controlling ownership of Forbes. Surprised? Am I the last guy left who hasn’t sold out?
Forgot to add link:
Phil, Thanks for this link! I have had Rebekah Jones shoved in my face too many times.
from what I understand, she was a pretty low level employee, almost just a data entry clerk.
Does any one have better info
What exactly is a “data technician”? Is that like a “professional leaf-blower technician”?
She and Whitmer should win Forbes’ “Forehead” of the Year” award.
In any event, Forbes is another source we know to ignore.
Did anyone check back to see which year Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos won it?
“Damn, can’t believe your name is still associated with this mess @SteveForbesCEO”
I can. Steve Forbes is a devout laissez-faire capitalist, and his “hands off” attitude seems to extend to his management style. As a result the Communists have run roughshod over him, turning Forbes Magazine into a parody of its former self.
Forbes also ran what I thought were disorganized, meandering campaigns for President in 1996 and 2000 that constantly stepped on his own message of a flat tax. It didn’t help matters that Forbes tended to wilt under media criticism (think Donald Trump without a spine) and constantly tweaked his flat tax plan in a futile effort to please Washington journalists. Had Forbes become President I think he would have been a doormat, frantically trying to win the favor of his enemies by appeasing them.
So, no – what Forbes magazine did is not surprising at all.
Or he’s controlled opposition.
Didn’t they say that she was a geography major? Getting fired from a government job is not a great recommendation for being tech-savvy.
Holy sh!+, just listened to the phone call between PDJT and GA SoS brad raffensperger. To say raffensperger figuratively got his teeth kicked in doesn’t come close to describing how badly this went for raffensperger. The call is like a real world police interrogation where the cop (PDJT) knows the facts and evidence inside and out, and catches the suspect (raffensperger)in lies, lies, and lies on top of lies. raffensperger is in huge, huge trouble here. President Donald J. Trump just pushed all of his chips into the middle.
The Georgia Peking Ducks are roasted.
Raffensperger’s Team Leaks President Trump’s Saturday Call to Fake News WaPo — Tells You Everything About the Dirty Georgia Leadership
What are you talking about? Raffensperger just needs to hold on for another couple weeks and he is home scott free!! The Democratic media will make sure of that (as long as he is useful to Democrats that is).
No one will ever be held accountable for the fraud thats been carried out with this election.
That’s certainly their plan. And they want it just as badly and are fighting just as hard as we are, mostly under the covers of course.
They are probably fighting harder. We know that we’re essentially legitimate and aren’t in much trouble even if the other side wins, we just have a ruined country for all of us. They don’t have that assurance. They know they are not legitimate, so they are desperate and will fight “by any means necessary” as is their habit.
Raffensperger might be toast if the DOJ hadn’t out-sourced operations to China…
Is this distinguished “award” presented as a refrigerator magnet?
Forbes used to be great, now its a Chinese joke.
Raffensberger sounds like a name you would see as a chief of staff of someone like Gestapo Chief Mueller
So the media and the left fall all over themselves to praise this lying hacker, but refuse to believe the word of nearly a thousand witnesses with sworn affidavits about vote fraud.
Witness the death of truth in America, courtesy of a demonstrably biased media, pols and social media.