Florida’s Famed Whistle Blower Rebekah Jones Pleads Guilty - and Still Insists She Is Correct

CNN's Chris Cuomo interviews fired Florida data technician Rebekah Jones - May 22, 2020. Credit: CNN

The Rebekah Jones saga should now be over, and the press quietly allows her story – and their complicity – to wither away to be forgotten.

A celebrity of sorts in the press has been completely neutered today, as Rebekah Jones – the once mythic whistleblowing figure adored by journalists – has pled guilty to charges she violated state laws by illegally entering the state’s health board computer network and downloading FDOH data illegally. It is a fall for Jones, but not a plunge from grace.


Let us harken back for a moment to the COVID era, back when the state of Florida was declared a pandemic hellscape and its governor, Ron DeSantis was alleged to be such a faulty leader killing off his residents that he was dubbed Ron “Death-Sentence” in some media circles. Well, from that media miasma emerged a heroine of sorts, hailed in the press and feted by pundits as the noble voice of truth and honor.

Rebekah Jones was granted copious amounts of airtime and print inches, as being the voice of honor within the Florida government, revealing the hard truths and the cold numbers of COVID deaths that were being hidden by DeSantis. She claimed the government was cooking the books and the governor was leading a false charge of Florida being a haven of freedom and safety. The press loved this, of course, because she was exposing Republican corruption and wounding a rising star in the party. She was a regular for a spell on MSNBC, and Chris Cuomo relied on her myth for months of coverage of Florida’s COVID response.

What the press did not love was the task of performing journalism. This is evident in the way that Jones was frequently given the freedom to spout her accusations, and then after her charges were repeated in the press as factual. As I detailed back in February of 2021, her claims were actually quite false, had some of these journalists done the barest investigation. And over time nothing substantive has ever been shown to come close to her accusations.


Now in a case involving the raid on Jones’ home in December of 2020 where FDLE confiscated a number of materials she had illegally obtained from state computer servers, Jones has taken a curious stance. With her trial set to begin next month, Rebekah has decided to go with a plea deal. She will accept a sentence with a number of penalty provisions. She also has admitted guilt to the data breach that included her making off with the personal data of 19,000 state employees, in order to avoid a jury trial.

As part of her deal, she has agreed to pay $20,000 in restitution to the FDLE, 150 hours of community service, and agree to monthly mental health visits. This is not a settlement reached by an individual who rests on the side of truth and the facts. It is also in keeping with the Jones track record of boasts made which ultimately are shunted aside once facts arrive.

She is neither a “doctor” nor a “scientist” as the press has regularly labeled her. Her job title was Geographic Information System Developer; a specific form of data entry. The primary claim that she was instructed to manipulate COVID death counts was shown to be based on a lone direction to halt data input in order for the correct dates for a period of time to be accurately inputted into the state’s dashboard. This was directed by an actual doctor in charge of the FDOH database, and done to ensure the accuracy of the data, not to hide anything.


As the best indicator of the vacancy of her claims, note how often it has been reported that DeSantis has altered COVID death counts in Florida. Once Jones rose to prominence in the press many news outlets, both within the state and nationally, paid strict attention to Florida’s COVID dashboard looking for discrepancies in order to hang DeSantis with claims of falsehoods. At no point has a report come out showing fraud of any level with the FDOH reports.

Following her rise to national attention, Jones has left a wake of consistent failings. She was fired from the FDOH for her insubordination. Her claims of being told to alter death data were countered by the revealed fact that she did not possess access to the system to do so. Medical statistics would arrive at the state from county officials, with copies then given to Jones to input into the portal based on geographics, her field of study. Any discrepancy in numbers would be easy to spot as they would counter the official documents received from local areas.

Following the raid on her home, Jones accused the police of pointing guns at her family; police body-cam footage dispelled that claim. She filed a suit against the state but then dropped her charges. An inspector General report looking into all claims made came back to show there was zero evidence of anything improper that took place. She has been routinely removed from social media over false information. She just ran for Congress in Matt Gaetz’s district and was trounced handily by the incumbent.


Even following her admission, Jones cannot refrain from misinforming people about the details of her story. She is now saying that her suit was thrown out, or dismissed, not that she pled guilty to the charges, even as she admits to the conditions agreed upon with prosecutors. They dropped the case and she is “free”, as she states she also has to incur the penalties. This is in line with the usual measure of logic from this figure. It is the Jones brand to face a reality and present it as something else entirely. 

As a point of amusement – and a case of poor timing – at nearly the same time as her plea deal the announcement came out that she will be starting a new podcast soon. It is appropriately titled Miss Informational. It might be a good bet to suggest it might be conducted in a How-to format.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos