Florida police raid home of former state Covid-19 data scientist

Published December 8, 2020 1,132 Views

Rumble Florida police raided the home of a former state coronavirus data scientist on Monday, escalating a feud between the state government and a data expert who has accused officials of trying to cover up the extent of the pandemic. (CNN)

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement executed a search warrant Monday morning at the home of data scientist Rebekah Jones, who was fired by the state Department of Health in May. (CNN)

The agency is investigating whether Jones accessed a state government messaging system without authorization to urge employees to speak out about coronavirus deaths, according to an affidavit by an agent working on the case. (CNN)

The Florida Department of Health is the agency that fired Jones in May, after she helped create the state's COVID-19 dashboard. (NPR)

Jones has said she lost her job after she refused requests to manipulate data to suggest Florida was ready to ease coronavirus restrictions. A spokesperson for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at the time that she "exhibited a repeated course of insubordination during her time with the department." (NPR)

The search warrant was authorized as investigators tried to learn who sent a chat message to a planning group on an emergency alert platform, urging people to speak out publicly about Florida's coronavirus strategies. (NPR)

On Monday night, Jones appeared on CNN and denied that she was the author of the unauthorised message. She said she last had access to any computer system within the state was six months ago, adding: “I’m not a hacker, I’m not that tech savvy.” (The Guardian)

Jones called the raid on Monday “a thinly-veiled attempt by the governor to intimidate scientists.” (The Guardian)

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/dec/07/florida-police-raid-data-scientist-coronavirus

Source: https://www.npr.org/2020/12/08/944200394/florida-agents-raid-home-of-rebekah-jones-former-state-data-scientist

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/07/us/florida-search-warrant-raid-rebekah-jones-invs/index.html

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