TALLAHASSEE, FL — Claims by a former Florida knowledge scientist that state well being officers fired her for refusing to control COVID-19 knowledge are “unsubstantiated” and “unfounded,” an investigation exhibits, in keeping with the Tallahassee Democrat.
A report from the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Inspector General discovered “insufficient evidence” to help the accusations from Rebekah Jones, a vocal critic of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ pandemic response who’s difficult Rep. Matt Gaetz for his District 1 House seat.
Investigators decided that Florida’s COVID-19 knowledge wasn’t falsified, and there was no manipulation of knowledge, experiences stated. DOH staff denied ever being requested to change knowledge associated to the pandemic.
The inspector common report additionally exonerated staff Jones accused of organizing a cover-up, experiences stated.
In her grievance, Jones, who managed Florida’s COVID-19 dashboard throughout the early months of the pandemic, stated the well being division directed her to take away a “data hub” from the dashboard and reactivate it inside 24 hours, CNN reported.
While the inspector common report discovered this declare to be true, the investigation decided that the info was eliminated due to considerations that it included sufferers’ personal well being data and that the elimination did not violate any state coverage.
She was fired from the Department of Health in May 2020 for what Gov. Ron DeSantis described as “insubordination.” Jones, thought-about a whistleblower by many, said she was let go for not manipulating knowledge to help the state’s reopening, in keeping with NPR.
She went on to create her personal unbiased coronavirus monitoring dashboard, Florida COVID Action.
In a Facebook submit Thursday, Jones stated that she felt “vindicated” that the inspector common report corroborated her declare that she was requested to take away knowledge from the state’s COVID-19 dashboard.
“How awful is it that the state determined I was ordered to hide data exactly as I said and I told the absolute truth, but since there’s no specific policy against doing so the state will get away with it?” she wrote.
She added, “I’m relieved to be vindicated and to close this chapter of my life before taking them to court to seek justice not just for myself, but also for my family and the people of Florida, who deserve the truth after everything this corrupt agency and government has done to us. It feels like a massive weight taken off me to be vindicated finally, after all this time, all the efforts by the state to defame and smear me, and the failed attempts to discredit me with baseless claims that have finally been proven false.”
Jones has confronted authorized points since her firing. According to a warrant, an unauthorized message compelling DOH staff to talk out was despatched from the state’s emergency administration account on Nov. 10, 2020. It was traced again to an IP deal with at Jones’ house, which was raided by Florida Department of Law Enforcement in December 2020, experiences stated.
While she has denied sending the message, Jones turned herself in to authorities after studying there was a warrant for her arrest. She was charged with one depend of offenses in opposition to customers of computer systems, computer programs, computer networks and digital gadgets, in keeping with an FDLE information launch.