Prominent Ron DeSantis critic Rebekah Jones was thoroughly discredited earlier this month not just courtesy of an investigative report that put together all the pieces of her epic deception but also thanks to Jones herself, who accidentally admitted last week that a key claim central to her case against Gov. DeSantis about how she was supposedly asked to manipulate Florida’s death stats was a lie.
And now, just days before the 3-day holiday weekend on beautiful beaches including those in Florida gets underway, Jones is facing yet another wave of bad publicity, this time from public health experts and former co-workers who are now speaking out and further exposing her for the fraud she is.
West Palm Beach’s CBS12, which conducted the interviews, noted that several of Jones’ former colleagues who they talked to including some high-level employees took issue with several claims made over the last year by Jones, including her alleged access to the raw COVID data for Florida and the allegation that she was asked to massage Florida’s data in a way that would further justify DeSantis’ reopening plans at the time.
A Florida Department of Health staffer the network talked to said that not only were statements made by Jones’ “widely disputed amongst DOH employees” but that “Jones did not have access to the state data system or have the privileges to alter raw COVID data.” That backs up the devastating piece done on her by Charles C.W. Cooke two weeks ago.
Another DOH employee, who CBS12 characterized as “high ranking,” said in so many words that meticulous records are kept at the county level, and that any potential manipulations of the data at the state level would have been easy to spot by local health officials. Further, “two DOH sources” verified “that counties review the state’s COVID data each morning for any inconsistencies.” I would think that in doing so any issues would be spotted, investigated, and fixed in short order if necessary, right?
Though the report acknowledged that a few other Florida media outlets had previously reported on what they believed to be “undercounting” allegedly taking place in some rural Florida areas, epidemiologists and one CDC statistician CBS12 spoke with who keep a track of the data on a day to day basis said they “see no significant issues” with Florida’s COVID dashboard, though one conceded that “the data in Florida are not perfect. I can guarantee that.”
It’s not “perfect” anywhere, to be perfectly clear.
Had Jones been telling the truth from start to finish, this would have amounted to one of the biggest political scandals not just in Florida’s history but the country’s. But based on what we’ve learned from the CBS12 report, Cooke’s, and others is that the checks and balances system Florida has in place for their coronavirus data would make it virtually impossible for anyone at the state level to do what Jones alleged she was told to do and get away with it because county officials who are directly involved in compiling and reviewing the data would have caught it soon after the supposed manipulation.
The bottom line here is that there is no “there” there for any of the explosive allegations Jones has made against DeSantis who – I should note – had nothing to do with the decision to fire her last May, as Cooke detailed in his write-up.
The credibility of yet another DeSantis critic and one who is inarguably responsible for much of the undeserved ridicule DeSantis has faced from his media and Democratic opposition has gone down in flames. Who will be next? I’m sure I’m not the only person eager to find out.