Rebekah Jones, the woman the media portrayed as a “whistleblower” and a martyr for allegedly exposing Florida’s fudging of COVID data, has admitted she was never asked to delete death data. She also claimed she never made such an accusation, but the receipts say otherwise.
Following National Review editor Charles C. W. Cooke’s exposé last week on Jones’ fraud, the woman at the center of the alleged scandal in Florida defended herself in a lengthy screed and then responded when Fox News’ Tucker Carlson featured her fraudulent claims on this nightly program. Carlson said on his show that Jones “claims she was instructed to delete data on COVID deaths.” Jones on Twitter claimed: “Deleting deaths was never something I was asked to do. I’ve never claimed it was.”
Except, as Cooke noted, Jones claimed that specifically. In a deleted tweet from Christmas Eve 2020, Jones linked to a Sun Sentinel article claiming Florida has a delayed death reporting process. Jones commented on the article: “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.”
Jones was referring to Florida’s Deputy Secretary of Health Dr. Shamarial Roberson. As Cooke wrote, the claim that Roberson told Jones “to delete cases and deaths” is “at the heart of her case.”
“That she now insists that she never made it is extraordinary,” he added.
Jones also claimed Roberson asked her “to change numbers and delete records to present a rosier picture of Florida’s pandemic than reality.” Several months later, she again claimed that Roberson asked her “to go into the raw data and manually alter figures.”
But in her lengthy response to Cooke’s original article, Jones admitted she didn’t even have the ability to do what she claimed she had been told to do. As Cooke wrote:
As part of the 10,000 word screed Jones wrote after my piece was published, she linked to a snippet of code that shows clearly that her dashboard did not interact directly with the state’s database, but instead utilized Excel files that other people at the Florida Department of Health had put on a network drive.
Or, put another way: Jones confirmed this week that she has been lying about the role she played in the department. And, once she’d done that, there was nothing that she could do except to back off her main claim. No direct access to the database means no ability to delete data from the database. No ability to delete data from the database means no claim that she was asked to delete data from the database. No claim that she was asked to delete data from the database means no scandal.
Don’t expect the media, who happily repeated Jones’ evolving claims, to report this new information.