In spite of the now well-established consensus around Rebekah Jones — a consensus reached in no small part thanks to the efforts of National Review‘s Charlie Cooke — the New York Times continues to tout Jones as a “data scientist” who credibly alleged that she was asked to manipulate data.
On Friday, Florida announced that given declining caseloads, it would no longer be publishing daily updates to its COVID dashboard, instead opting for weekly refreshers. The Times article on the change all but directs its readers to Jones’s alternative dashboard as a substitute. It does not acknowledge that Jones’s myriad allegations against Florida governor Ron DeSantis have been debunked, instead entertaining not only her claims about data manipulation, but also her lies about the purpose and nature of a police raid on her home.
The truth is that Jones was fired for a litany of performance and behavioral issues, including intentionally crashing the state dashboard in the thick of the pandemic last May. As for the police raid, it had nothing to do with her conspiracy theorizing against DeSantis and had everything to do with a Department of Health data breach traced back to her IPv6 address.
It would seem that the motivation for the falsehood-laden article is to critique DeSantis’s overall performance during the pandemic.
“Ms. Jones’s firing became a flash point as Mr. DeSantis, a close ally of then-President Donald J. Trump, touted Florida’s early success in battling the virus — a victory lap that turned out to be premature at the time and led to a disastrous summer,” the article reads.
Florida has only the 27th highest per capita death rate since the start of the pandemic despite being the third largest state in the country and having one of its most elderly populations.
The Times piece ends by giving readers an update on Jones’s personal dashboard: “But after the state announced that it would no longer update its public records, Ms. Jones said that she wouldn’t be able to update her dashboard either.”
On Monday, Jones’s Twitter account was suspended. She claimed that the reason for the suspension was her “overzealous” sharing of a Miami Herald article, while a DeSantis aide said that Jones had violated Twitter’s policy against buying followers.
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