Claims by a former Florida Department of Health employee against the administration of Gov. Ron DeSantis made the rounds on many left-wing cable news outlets and publications during the recent pandemic.
Rebekah Jones said that she was told by her superiors to fudge COVID-19 numbers online, and as such, she was granted whistleblower status last year to protect her from any potential fallout.
But a new report from the Florida Department of Health’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) obtained by NBC and published last week noted that her claims were “unfounded” and “unsubstantiated.”
Per ADN America:
The OIG report found “insufficient” or no evidence to support Jones’ accusations she was asked to falsify or misrepresent COVID-19 positivity rates on the state’s online dashboard, which she helped develop.
The report also “exonerated” public health officials who Jones had accused of removing data from public access, finding that the removed section helped protect private individual health information.
Jones was widely hailed as a whistleblower when she declared she had been fired from the Department of Health for refusing to doctor Florida’s COVID numbers as Gov. Ron DeSantis tried to reopen the state. She was arrested in Jan. 2021 for allegedly hacking and downloading confidential data from the state’s systems.
Jones came under fire for making inconsistent statements regarding the incident such as flip-flopping on claims that the GOP-run state purposely hid deaths to make it appear as though the pandemic was not affecting Florida so much and that DeSantis’ policies were effective. She was eventually banned from Twitter for violating the platform’s terms of service.
It was also revealed that she had a prior criminal record, most recently involving her allegedly stalking a previous romantic partner.
Recently, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush praised DeSantis for his policies that are helping the state recover well.
“His approach works. It’s one that has allowed Florida to emerge from the pandemic as a national model of personal freedom, economic growth, environmental protection, and education excellence,” he continued.
“Florida continues to see record population growth, unemployment remains below the national average, the private sector is growing, and Florida remains a national leader in school choice,” Bush noted.
“On top of that, DeSantis has demonstrated his environmental credentials with major investments to restore America’s Everglades, preserve and expand wildlife corridors, and protect Florida’s precious waterways,” he said.
“While the Beltway crowd may not like his style, it’s his record that will become his legacy,” Bush added.