Rebekah Jones, a former dashboard manager for the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) who made debunked claims that Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis altered coronavirus data to make his COVID-19 response look better, was suspended from Twitter Monday.
A Twitter spokesperson told the Daily Caller that Jones’ account “was permanently suspended for violations of the Twitter Rules on spam and platform manipulation.” Jones had previously told reporter Forrest Saunders that she expected her account to be reinstated. (RELATED: Woman Who Helped Build Florida’s COVID-19 Dashboard Turns Herself In On Felony Charge)
— Forrest Saunders (@FBSaunders) June 7, 2021
After she was fired from the FDOH in May of 2020, Jones claimed that her termination was because she refused to falsify the COVID-19 records. She was propped up by the media in 2020 as a “whistleblower.”
After she was fired, Jones curtailed an audience of hundreds of thousands of people on her now-suspended Twitter account. Jones also created a COVID-19 dashboard that was later found to have some inflated statistics.
When fact-checkers investigated Jones’ claims on cooking books on COVID-19 they discovered no significant issues with Florida’s reported data, according to a Washington Post article.
Writer Charles C.W. Cooke alleged in the New York Post that the FDOH fired Jones for releasing health department data without permission and that she didn’t have the ability to alter the COVID-19 data based on her position, even if she had tried. Jones had reportedly received multiple warnings about her behavior prior to being fired.
DeSantis told reporters that Jones is “not a data scientist” and said that she was putting invalid data on the coronavirus portal.
“She’s somebody that’s got a degree in journalism, communication and geography,” the governor said.