Former Florida data scientist for COVID to turn herself in on arrest warrant

"The governor will not win his war on science and free speech" - former Florida data scientist Rebekah Jones

Updated: January 18, 2021 - 9:57am

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The Florida scientist accused by the state of manipulating coronavirus data says she’ll turn in herself, in response to an arrest warrant being prepared by authorities.

The data scientist, Rebekah Jones, said she would turn herself in Sunday night. However, it was unclear Monday morning whether she had. 

In November, law enforcement raided the home of Jones, one of the data scientists who helped make Florida’s COVID-19 dashboard.

"To protect my family from continued police violence, and to show that I'm ready to fight whatever they throw at me, I'm turning myself into police in Florida Sunday night," Jones tweeted Saturday. "The Governor will not win his war on science and free speech. He will not silence those who speak out."

Jones has claimed that she was fired this spring for refusing to "manually change data" to support GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis' case for lifting coronavirus restrictions. The governor’s office said in response that Jones “exhibited a repeated course of insubordination” and "blatant disrespect," according to The Hill newspaper. 

Police allege that she used a Department of Health communications platform to send a Nov. 10 text telling others it was “time to speak up before another 17,000 people are dead.” Law enforcement acted on a search warrant on Dec. 7 to investigate the text, which Jones has denied sending, the newspaper also reports.

Jones has also tweeted that the arrest warrant was drafted on a charge not related to the raid, saying there was no evidence that she sent the group.