The news is out: [MIAMI—Ever since she got fired from her job with the Florida Department of Health, Rebekah Jones refuses to stop gathering data on coronavirus cases and sharing it with the public. In the past four months, the 31-year-old architect of the state government’s COVID-19 dashboard built her own version of that product as a counterweight for data dissemination, emerging as a consistent and vociferous critic of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ handling of the pandemic.
Now Jones is taking on the arduous task of tracking coronavirus cases inside schools and colleges across the country. The plan is to compile that data into a new dashboard she hopes will help everyone from parents to students to school board members to health officials wrap their heads around tough choices that have already shown signs of disaster.
“I started building it more than two weeks ago,” Jones told The Daily Beast. “It’s called the COVID Monitor. I want to make the data available to epidemiologists, researchers, school districts, and even governments. It’s always been my mission to give people the information they need to make informed decisions.”
That sense of mission put Jones on a collision course with the governor and her health department bosses as Florida officials moved to relax COVID-19 restrictions in late spring. For his part, in May, shortly after her dismissal as a geographic information systems analyst, DeSantis said Jones’ ouster was the result of her repeated insubordination—as opposed to her being some kind of whistleblower.]
Rebekah Jones is all that and a bag of chips.