Randi Weingarten Claims DeSantis Fakes COVID Data Based on Debunked Whistleblower Rebekah Jones

(Richard Parrish/The Lima News via AP Photo/The Lima News via AP)

Teachers Union President Weingarten could use a civics lesson — or a reading tutorial.

For purely political reasons Randi Weingarten has wielded a unique amount of power over the past year. Like many of the leftist opportunists, she has managed to leverage the pandemic into becoming a deeply influential individual on the national stage. She has orchestrated school closings, guided negotiations for her teachers to be granted windfalls as well as rewards that have little to nothing to do with the viral scourge, and has even been able to hold sway over the CDC.

One area the educator Boss has not had as much leverage is in the state of Florida, and clearly, this rankles her. A conversation she had with writer Samuel Bravo from back in March has come to light and Weingarten has both shown her disdain for the governor and her reliance on completely sketchy source material to level charges. On his substack account, Bravo writes about their conversations over a span of a few days, and in that exchange, Weingarten cites the disgraced Rebekah Jones as her source of “proof” that DeSantis is cooking the Covid books.

In their dialogue, Bravo brought up the fact that Florida schools had been open since last fall and, based on all data being tracked, the state has no discernable difference in cases than with locked-down California. In that state, Weingarten has pushed hard to have state officials keep schools closed, and yet with Florida opening last fall, and going with near full participation since New Year’s, there is no difference to be found. When asked to explain this reality, the Union head went to an odd place.

Weingarten dismissed this as a result of DeSantis “hiding cases.” At about the time of their conversation, I had covered how Florida schools were found to actually be safe havens and not Petri dishes of viral outbreaks. A report in the Wall Street Journal — not from DeSantis or the state — showed schools were experiencing not just extremely low infection rates, but the schools were sporting numbers below the surrounding communities in which they were located. This proved out that kids were not a high-risk group, and keeping schools closed was a complete political maneuver.

Pressed to elaborate on her claim of DeSantis falsifying records, Weingarten went full conspiracy.  “De[S]antis lies and fires people .. look what he did to the health officer[.] People don’t want to talk because they are terrorized[.]” She cited Jones specifically and then referred to the deposed statistician as a  “top scientist.” Jones is not a scientist, nor is she trained medically, a pair of claims that the media have made about her. She even insinuated that she was a scientist.

I have covered Jones in the past, noting that she has never once produced anything approaching realistic evidence to show her claim of being forced to alter COVID data. The only piece of anything tangible was a time very early in the state tracking where she had been instructed to change dates posted in the state’s dashboard. This was because those dates were not accurate, according to some of the collected data, and the very next day those dates were replaced in the database, in accurate fashion. The supervisor who was overlooking this correction is a trained physician.

Following the loud claims Jones made in the press, there has been heightened media interest, with national news outlets and a number of state-based newspapers, watching the Florida database closely, looking for discrepancies. It is telling Weingarten has to refer to Jones, and her thoroughly debunked accusations, as there have been no credible claims in the press about Florida faking COVID data. To this day, Weingarten continues to hold that Jones is a credible source, confirming to National Review this week that she still holds her claims as valid.

In their interview with the union boss, she told them the claims made by Jones have been proven correct by internal emails. She is referencing this report, which details only that Jones was instructed to change data, not alter deaths or infection rates. That data — was the string of incorrect dates she was told to pull down and correct, before replacing one day later. Jones has admitted publicly that she never was told to take down death numbers.

Weingarten has nothing to say about the other reports which have shown the minuscule infection rates in Florida schools. This is because it completely derails her intentions, which is to retain an iron-fist grip on the school systems where she wields power. That she is powerless in Florida leads her to these bouts of wild speculation — and relying on a lone source who has become a laughingstock of a whistleblower.