Ousted Florida Health Data Scientist Who Criticized State’s COVID Data Builds Her Own Dashboard
Rebekah Jones said she was ousted from the Florida Department of Health because she wouldn't make changes to the portal publicizing state COVID-19 rates.
The Washington Post:
Florida Fired Its Coronavirus Data Scientist. Now She’s Publishing The Statistics On Her Own.
Tension built for days between Florida Department of Health supervisors and the department’s geographic information systems manager before officials showed her the door, she says, permanently pulling her off the coronavirus dashboard that she operated for weeks. Managers had wanted Rebekah Jones to make certain changes to the public-facing portal, she says. Jones had objected to — and sometimes refused to comply with — what she saw as unethical requests. She says the department offered to let her resign. Jones declined. (Iati, 6/13)
Fired Florida Data Scientist Launches A Coronavirus Dashboard Of Her Own
Jones says she was originally tasked with building essentially the same type of dashboard for the health department's website in her role as a geographic information system manager — until it became clear what the results would show. "When I went to show them what the report card would say for each county, among other things, they asked me to delete the report card because it showed that no counties, pretty much, were ready for reopening," she says. "And they didn't want to draw attention to that." (Wamsley, 6/14)
Former Florida Data Official Rebekah Jones Launches A Covid-19 Dashboard After Removal
Jones parallels her data alongside DOH's coronavirus numbers, which are much lower, according to the website. "DOH publishes total cases, not positive people," the website says. "Additionally, cases are not currently created for those who receive positive antibody test results, and so DOH excludes them from that total. We show the total number of people who have definitive lab results showing they have or have had COVID-19 regardless of the type of test." (Alonso, 6/15)