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Manager of Florida’s COVID-19 Dashboard Fired Because Refused to Manipulate Data – Reports

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Rebekah Jones, who managed Florida’s dashboard website that displayed the state’s latest COVID-19 statistics, claims she was fired because she refused to manipulate data so that it would support the reopening of the economy, USA Today reported.

The report on Tuesday said, citing an email from Jones, that she was removed from her position as the manager of the dashboard on 5 May and then fired by the Florida Department of Health on Monday after she allegedly refused to “manually change data to drum up support for the plan to reopen.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ spokeswoman, Helen Aguirre Ferre, told the Miami Herald newspaper that the information on the dashboard is accurate.

In other US media reports, Jones warned that her removal may signal a change in accessibility and transparency of the dashboard data.

The Florida Department of Health said in a press release on Tuesday that so far there are 46,944 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and 2,052 deaths related to the virus.

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Florida’s COVID-19 Dashboard Architect Rebekah Jones Claims She Was Fired for Not Manipulating Data

A top Florida Department of Health data manager alleges she was forced to resign from her job maintaining the state’s COVID-19 portal because she refused to change data that would “drum up support for the plan to reopen” amid the pandemic. 

Rebekah Jones, the architect behind the Sunshine State’s interactive COVID-19 dashboard once praised by the White House, told several news outlets on Tuesday she was removed from her position as Graphic Information Systems manager on May 5 due to “reasons beyond my division’s control.” On Monday, the state’s Department of Health offered her a settlement with the option to resign instead of being fired, which would go into effect on May 26, she said.

Jones, 30, told CBS12 News that her involuntary removal came one day after she refused to “manually change data to drum up support for the plan to reopen.” The scientist, however, did not elaborate on which data in particular she refused to alter. 

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