Florida's COVID-19 dashboard creator claims she was fired for refusing to 'manipulate' data

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Rebekah Jones led the charge to build Florida's COVID-19 data and surveillance dashboard, which reports total coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths. She earned national recognition for her efforts building and managing the dashboard until May 5 when the Florida Department of Health fired her, according to Florida Today.

Ms. Jones alleges she was fired after refusing to manipulate data for the dashboard, which was designed to help individuals and researchers get a real-time picture of how COVID-19 spread in the state. She had been the geographic information systems manager at the Florida Department of Health and told news outlets that she had been asked to manually change data that would support Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' plan to reopen the state, which she did not do.

After being fired from her post, she sent an email to researchers warning about a lack of transparency surrounding the dashboard in the future. Mr. DeSantis' office issued a statement confirming that Ms. Jones was "no longer involved" in the dashboard project but it would remain available and updated with accurate information.

Since her departure, Florida Today has reported that the website crashed and has gone offline for a period of time, and data has also "gone missing without explanation."

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