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Florida Inspector General Issues Damning Report on Fired DOH Staffer Rebekah Jones’ Claims of ‘Manipulated’ COVID Data

Florida Inspector General Issues Damning Report on Fired DOH Staffer Rebekah Jones’ Claims of ‘Manipulated’ COVID Data

“This report isn’t just a triumph of the truth – it’s a victory for the public health experts who were bullied and vilified on social media for standing up to Jones,” said CBS12 reporter Jay O’Brien.

The purported credibility of so-called Florida “whistleblower” and fired Dept. of Health IT staffer Rebekah Jones took yet another hit earlier this week after the state’s DOH inspector general released a damning report that found her various claims about how she was allegedly ordered in May 2020 to manipulate Florida’s COVID dashboard in the early days of the pandemic to make Gov. Ron DeSantis look better as he sought to re-open the state were “unsubstantiated” and “unfounded.”

Veteran Florida reporter Marc Caputo, who has been following this story from day one, filed this summary story:

The 27-page report from the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Inspector General said it found “insufficient evidence” or no evidence to support Rebekah Jones’ accusations that she was asked to falsify Covid positivity rates or misrepresent them on the state’s dashboard she helped design. The report also “exonerated” officials accused by Jones of wrongdoing because they removed a data section from the website to ensure that private individual health information was not released publicly.

The independent report paints a portrait of an employee who did not understand public health policy or the significance of epidemiological data, did not have high-level access to crucial information and leveled claims that made professional health officials “skeptical.”

The report did not examine one of Jones’ most explosives claims: that Florida intentionally hid deaths to make the pandemic seem less deadly.

That conspiracy theory, which Jones alternately promoted and recanted on Twitter before her account was suspended for violating the platform’s terms of service, has persisted on social media for more than a year, despite the lack of evidence. The Florida Democrat who ran the state’s emergency response at the time bemoaned how Jones spread “disinformation.” Independent epidemiologists say the claim has no basis.

Caputo also posted a lengthy Twitter thread in which he noted that the deeply troubled Jones, who was coddled by then-CNN host Chris Cuomo among others who treated her as a media darling, was even lying about the results of the report on her Instagram feed:

He also pointed out how her penchant for routinely posting false information happened “so much that it seemed intentional at times.” Gee, ya think?

CBS12’s Jay O’Brien, another Florida reporter who has closely tracked the story from the early days and who has done some in-depth reporting of his own on it, shared his thoughts as well:

As even more proof of just how devastating this report was for Jones, the Miami Herald – which more than any other “news” outlet repeatedly propped up the known fraudulent claims of Rebekah Jones in their effort to “get DeSantis” – conveniently filed their story Friday just before midnight, over 36 hours after the original story broke:

That said, the only unanswered question left at this point is:

That’s rhetorical, of course, because we know that isn’t going to happen.

Though thoroughly discredited, Jones will likely get more time in the media spotlight in advance of the August Florida primaries because she’s running on the Democrat side in hopes of being able to take on Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz in the fall elections. Don’t be surprised to see another in-kind contribution to her from the agenda-driven Miami Herald between now and then because bolstering people like Jones is just what they do.

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


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Marc Caputo and Mary Ellen Klas are truly heartbroken that DeSantis is correct in firing her. Scum liberal reporters that we in Florida do not trust.

    casualobserver in reply to natdj. | May 29, 2022 at 9:27 am

    Florida is no different than the rest of the country lately. The family is so dysfunctional that either parent will do anything to score a point against the other. The screaming tantrum throwing preteen Jones wanted attention and one parent obliged, knowing good and well it was just spittle-laden fury with no substance. Points!!!

    I’d bet they’ll continue to give her a microphone and ink moving forward.

The Miami Herald pushed this conspiracy theory for 2 years and now ends it with a whimper about “insufficient evidence”

    buck61 in reply to geronl. | May 28, 2022 at 11:15 pm

    If your only sources of information were the two south Florida newspapers and the tv stations you would think DeSantis had an approval rating below Biden’s. The two papers have been trying to bring him down for years, they would have been in Gillum’s corner no matter what.

    natdj in reply to geronl. | May 29, 2022 at 8:08 am

    If the Herald had their way, they would have said, “DeSantis Pounces”.

daniel_ream | May 29, 2022 at 1:35 am

Front-end developers are all useless.

Another self-promoting and self-serving Dumb-o-crat narcissist and fabulist, out to receive attention, plaudits and lucre.

I mean… the lies by left leaning government employees and health professionals were pretty open and obvious. Even a cursory review of statements and statistics show the intentional fraud. The Illinois IDPH out right admitted that the statistics were skewed when they counted both dying from and dying with covid in the same number. An Iowa public health official basically stated the same think and label anyone who challenged the numbers as spreading disinformation.