DeSantis says fired COVID-19 dashboard employee facing criminal charges
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DeSantis says fired COVID-19 dashboard employee facing criminal charges

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This week saw the firing of Rebekah Jones, the architect of Florida’s COVID-19 dashboard, after she voiced her concerns about the Department of Health’s commitment to “accessibility and transparency.”

In a statement, Helen Aguirre Ferré, the spokeswoman for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R), commented that “Rebekah Jones exhibited a repeated course of insubordination during her time with the department, including her unilateral decisions to modify the department’s COVID-19 dashboard without input or approval from the epidemiological team or her supervisors.” Furthermore, Ferré noted that “the blatant disrespect for the professionals who were working around the clock to provide the important information for the COVID-19 website was harmful to the team,” adding that “accuracy and transparency are always indispensable, especially during an unprecedented public health emergency such as COVID-19.”

She concluded by saying that “having someone disruptive cannot be tolerated during this public pandemic, which led the department to determine that it was best to terminate her employment.”

Today, alongside Vice President Mike Pence (R), DeSantis commented on Jones’ firing, expressing that Jones is facing “active criminal charges” for cyber sexual harassment and cyberstalking.

In a statement, the Florida Governor added that he has “a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment.”

DeSantis is also asking the Department of Health to explain to him “how one would be allowed to be charged with that and continue on.”

He explained that Jones’ “supervisor dismissed her because” of the aforementioned reasons, and the Governor believes that Jones “should’ve been dismissed long before that.”

In an email shared with the Herald, Jones warned that “as a word of caution, 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.”

Jones lamented that “after all, my commitment to both is largely [arguably entirely] the reason I am no longer managing it.”

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Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina was the Opinion Editor of his high school’s newspaper, and he was also Editor-in-Chief of Miami Dade College’s Urbana literary and arts magazine wherein he also won the 2013 FCSAA Best Fiction Story in the State of Florida Award. He’s currently pursuing his Bachelor’s in English Literature. Hobbies in his free time include reading, writing and watching films and basketball.