Florida Inspector General Report Finds ‘Insufficient Evidence’ Of Rebekah Jones’ Claims Against DeSantis Administration
In this photo illustration the Florida's COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard is seen displayed on a computer screen.
Photo Illustration by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Florida woman who claimed she was asked to falsify COVID-19 data made “unsubstantiated” and “unfounded” claims about why she was fired, the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Inspector General found.

Rebekah Jones claimed she was fired after she refused to falsify or manipulate COVID-19 data for the state of Florida. Her accusations were picked up by media outlets looking to demonize Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who bucked Blue State COVID lockdown trends during the pandemic.

The Inspector General report makes clear that there is no evidence to support Jones’ claims and exonerates the officials she accused of wrongdoing.

“The independent report paints a portrait of an employee who did not understand public health policy or the significance of epidemiological data, did not have high-level access to crucial information and leveled claims that made professional health officials ‘skeptical,’” NBC News reported.

The Inspector General report did not, however, investigate Jones’ claim that Florida intentionally reported fewer deaths, a claim NBC called a “conspiracy theory.” The Daily Wire previously reported that Jones on December 24, 2020, published a now-deleted tweet that read: “The woman who told me to delete cases and deaths is now blaming DOCTORS for the death backlog. She’s the most corrupt, lying, incompetent and ignorant person that could be [sic] ever be put in charge.” Her tweet came in response to a Sun Sentinel article claiming Florida had a delayed death reporting process.

But in May 2021, Jones claimed she never made such an accusation, tweeting, “Deleting deaths was never something I was asked to do. I’ve never claimed it was,” after Fox News host Tucker Carlson featured her fraudulent claims on this nightly program.

Media outlets hailed Jones as a “whistleblower” for her claims and because she was granted such status by the same Inspector General now saying there is no substantiation to her wrongful termination claims.

Jones’ attorney, Rick Johnson, said his client would take the matter to court, insisting Jones “was fired for refusing to manipulate Covid data.”

Jones’ claim to have been asked to manipulate data was debunked by National Review’s Charles C.W. Cooke, who reported that Jones never handled raw data and was given only a copy of the data she was supposed to input in the system. Jones’ story also changed dramatically the more she told it, from her initial claims that she was fired for merely questioning the data to eventually claiming her superiors directed her to “delete cases and deaths” to make Florida look better.

Her claim that her superior told her to “go into the raw data and manually alter figures,” wasn’t possible because she never had access to that raw data.

In August 2021, Jones was called out for another false claim, one involving DeSanti’s press secretary Christina Pushaw. Jones claimed Pushaw faced criminal charges after she allegedly violated a restraining order Jones took out against her. Pushaw never knew about the restraining order, and Jones claimed the order had been violated before it had even been reviewed by the courts. The request for the restraining order was dismissed, and so was the follow-up claim. Nevertheless, Jones claimed the state attorney was making a “deal” with Pushaw for “deferred prosecution,” a claim the state attorney denied.