Radioactivity Thursday: Former Florida COVID-19 data manager says she will not be deterred – despite death threats

Rebekah Jones on coronavirus
Rebekah Jones. From Newhouse School at Syracuse University alumni webinar screen grab, 25 June 2020.

Here is a link to many coronavirus resources

December 17, 2020

Good morning, welcome to Radioactivity. I’m Rob Lorei.

There are now more calls for an investigation into the search of a former Florida COVID data scientist’s home.  A group of Florida Congress members, all Democrats, sent a letter to the state’s chief inspector general. The list includes Kathy Castor of Tampa, Charlie Crist of St. Petersburg and Darren Soto of Kissimmee. They want to know more about what led the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to show up at the home of Rebekah Jones in Tallahassee last week, taking her computer and a cell phone. Jones was fired after claiming the department of health was manipulating COVID data to support the governor’s reopening plan.

Jones is now accused of hacking into a state system to communicate with her former colleagues, and allegedly posting a message to urge her former colleagues to speak out about the COVID crisis.  She has denied accessing the system, which is a third degree felony.

This week the commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement defended the raid. Rick Swearingen said it’s standard procedure to have armed agents exercise a search warrant.  Last week, while in Tampa, Governor DeSantis said the raid was necessary.

Joining us live now from Tallahassee is the fired former state data scientist Rebekah Jones.

Listen to the full show here.

Check out Jones’s COVID MONITOR here:

Additional WMNF coverage:

Congressman Charlie Crist criticizes raid on Rebekah Jones’ home:

Ron Filipkowski resigns state position following raid on Jones’ home:

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