Florida scientist who accused state of manipulating coronavirus data tests positive for COVID-19, turns herself in
The former Florida scientist who accused state officials of manipulating coronavirus data turned herself in on Sunday and then announced she has tested positive for the virus, according to a new report.
Rebekah Jones, a state data scientist who was fired late last year, turned herself in to Leon County police days after a warrant was issued for her arrest. Jones is charged with one count of offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks and electronic devices, CNN reported.
Jones was released on Monday and reportedly announced to reporters that she had tested positive for coronavirus as she left the Leon County Detention Facility after posting bail.
The scientist had stated her intention to surrender to police in a series of tweets over the weekend.
“To protect my family from continued police violence, and to show that I’m ready to fight whatever they throw at me, I’m turning myself into police in Florida Sunday night,” Jones tweeted. “The Governor will not win his war on science and free speech. He will not silence those who speak out.”
Jones has been critical of the state of Florida’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, attacking Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, for what she says is unsafe policy in dealing with the public health crisis.
Authorities allege Jones used a state communications mechanism to send a message to thousands of people in the state saying it was “time to speak up before another 17,000 people are dead.”
Florida state police raided Jones’s Tallahassee home and confiscated her computer equipment under the suspicion she had unauthorized access to the state Department of Health’s messaging system after being fired for insubordination in May.
A search warrant affidavit linked the message to an IP address at Jones’s home, CNN reported.