A DATA scientist who was fired after she raised questions about Florida’s Covid-19 figures has turned herself in after an warrant was issued for her arrest.
Whistleblower Rebekah Jones has been accused illegally accessing the email system to urge approximately 1,750 state employees to speak out after she suggested officials covered up the true extent of the pandemic.
Rebekah Jones turned herself in to authorities after a warrant was issued for her arrestCredit: Twitter
The 31-year-old has been accused of sending a message to approximately 1,750 state employees urging them to speak outCredit: Reuters
As she walked out of jail this afternoon wearing a mask after posting bail, she told reporters she had tested positive for the bug while in jail.
Jones has been charged with one count of offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks and electronic devices, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said.
The former Florida Department of Health employee has denied hacking the system and sending messages to state employees.
A warrant for her arrest was issued last week, just a month after armed cops stormed her home while her kids were inside, and she surrendered on Sunday to the Leon County Detention Facility.
A statement issued by the FDLE said: “Evidence retrieved from a search warrant on December 7 shows that Jones illegally accessed the system sending a message to approximately 1,750 people and downloaded confidential FDOH data and saved it to her device.”
The 31-year-old wrote a series of tweets on Saturday, announcing her intention to turn herself in.
“To protect my family from continued police violence, and to show that I’m ready to fight whatever they throw at me, I’m turning myself into police in Florida Sunday night,” she typed.
“The Governor will not win his war on science and free speech. He will not silence those who speak out.”
Armed police raided her home in DecemberCredit: Twitter
Jones has criticized Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his state agenciesCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Jones was fired from her post in May after she raised questions about Florida’s Covid-19 data and has been under investigation since early November when someone illegally accessed the state’s emergency alert health system.
She had been reprimanded several times and was ultimately fired for violating Health Department policy by making public remarks about the information, state records show.
Since her firing, she has lit up social media with posts criticizing Republican Governor Ron DeSantis and his state agencies.
For months, she has tried to promote herself as a victim who was fired for telling the truth, although there is no evidence that supports her claims.
Early in the pandemic, Jones wrote blog posts and reached out to media outlets and researchers sowing doubt about the credibility of the data now that she is no longer in that role.
She said Health Department managers urged her to manipulate information to paint a rosier picture and that she pushed back.
The data was crucial as the governor was trying to make highly controversial decisions on whether to reopen Florida’s economy
State health officials strenuously deny any issue with the information’s accuracy.