Update at 8:51 p.m. ETA scientist who created a dashboard for monitoring Florida’s rising number of COVID-19 cases said she’s been fired for refusing to manipulate the data. Rebekah Jones was the manager of the Geographic Information System team at Florida’s Department of Health. She helped create a data portal that for months has provided easily accessible and detailed information on COVID-19 cases broken down by ZIP code. The Florida COVID-19 dashboard has been praised by researchers in the state and by Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator. Last week, Jones notified public health researchers in an email that she’d been removed from the project. “As a word of caution,” she wrote, “I would not expect the new team to continue the same level of accessibility and transparency that I made central to the process during the first two months. After all, my commitment to both is largely (arguably entirely) the reason I am no longer managing it.” Jones now says she’s been fired from the state Department of Health. In a statement to CBS12 News in West Palm Beach, Fla., Jones said her dismissal came after she refused to “manually change data to drum up support for the plan to reopen.”

 

 

Billy Hathorn [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

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