Fired Florida COVID-19 data scientist turns herself in

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Florida data scientist Rebekah Jones turned herself into authorities Jan. 18 after a warrant was issued for her arrest in connection to her use of the state's computer system, the Washington Post reports. 

Six things to know: 

1. Ms. Jones worked for the Florida health department until last May when she said the department fired her for refusing to manipulate data on the state's COVID-19 dashboard. After her firing, she created a separate COVID-19 data dashboard to publish pandemic data. 

2. In December, police confiscated Ms. Jones' computer during a home raid over allegations that she hacked into the Florida health department's website. 

3. In a Jan. 18 tweet, Ms. Jones wrote "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. The governor will not win his war on science and free speech." 

4. Ms. Jones posted bail and was released from jail Jan. 19. She then told reporters that she had tested positive for COVID-19, according to the publication. Her lawyer, Stephen Dobson, did not immediately respond to the Post's comment request. 

5. Ms. Jones said she objected to unethical requests to change Florida's coronavirus dashboard, including undercounting infections and overcounting the number of people tested, from the state's health department while working as a state employee. 

6. Florida officials have denied Ms. Jones' claims. 

 

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