A former health worker in Florida, USA, has been persecuted one after another for refusing to hide the pandemic: first, he was forcibly fired, then harassed by the police, and now he is still facing arrest.
And she voluntarily turned herself in for the sake of her family, saying that she would “fight to the end”.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Rebecca Jones, a data engineer of the former Florida Department of Health, said on the 16th that she faced an arrest warrant for not releasing specific charges after being forcibly searched by the police for false reasons. S
he believes that this is a “retaliation” by the state government for exposing the real local epidemic data.
Florida Law Enforcement (FDLE) confirms that an arrest warrant has been issued against Jones, but says she “can’t disclose specific charges” until she surrenders herself.
The Wall Street Journal mentioned that Jones was suspected of illegally logging into the state alarm system and issuing anonymous messages calling for “whistle” without authorization. But Jones denied participating.
At present, it is not clear whether the police used this case as the basis for issuing arrest warrants.
But out of consideration for his family, Jones decided to surrender.
“In order to protect my family from the ongoing harassment of the police and to demonstrate my willingness to fight everything they’ve tried to impose on me, I plan to surrender myself to Florida police on Sunday night.”
She described goodbye to her family as “the hardest thing in her life”, she described on Twitter.
Jones has been responsible for maintaining the Florida Department of Health’s COVID-19 data homepage.
In May last year, she was dismissed as “disobedience to her superiors” after she publicly exposed that the Florida government asked to hide part of the epidemic data in order to restart the economy as soon as possible.
The state government said at the time that she “created confusion by repeatedly modifying the data without authorization”.
Jones herself immediately sued the state health department for violating her constitutional rights and set up a private epidemic website “Operation Florida Coronavirus” with the financial support of netizens to continuously update the case figures.
According to Guancha.com, the number of confirmed cases in Florida is nearly 100,000 more than the official statistics of the state government, and the death toll is 378 more.
Jones claimed that she was retaliated for exposing the epidemic figures that these state governments tried to hide.
In November, Florida Department of Health officials complained to the police that anonymous people illegally occupied the state alarm system used by first responders and issued unauthorized messages such as “you know the official statistics are wrong”, “be a hero, don’t wait until it’s too late to speak out”.
On December 7, Jones’ home was raided by several state policemen and all the computer equipment was taken away.
During this period, a policeman pointed a gun at her and her child, which scared the family. Jones believes that the state government is “trying to shut me up”.
Officials said that the police tracked down the IP address where the message was released from Jones and suspected that she had hidden evidence of illegal login at her home for “possible reasons) before applying for a search warrant.
But Jones denied that he had something to do with anonymous information and questioned Sojia’s reason.
In a tweet on the 16th, she said that the police did not find any evidence related to anonymous information on the computer, and the whole search process was “based on lies”, as did the arrest warrants.
For example, the arrest warrant was issued immediately after the judge asked the police to “return the computer equipment if it was not for the investigation of the crime”.
Jones believes that this is obviously Governor DeSantis’s forced fabrication of reasons to arrest people in retaliation for her release of hidden data.
Jones said that neither he nor his lawyer know which crime he is currently facing.
However, the police threatened to face “additional charges” if exposed to the media.
She also mentioned that it may be released without contact with electronic equipment.
But that means that it is impossible to update websites with COVID-19 data that are different from the state government.
“All this is an effort by a governor who failed his job and killed thousands of people to make a critic speak out.” Jones said.
The Florida government office has not responded to the media about reporting.
According to Johns Hopkins University (reference to local state government data), as of the early morning of the 18th local time, there were 1,571,279 confirmed cases and 24,137 deaths in Florida.
The statistics of Jones website are 166,620 confirmed cases and 24,515 deaths.
On January 13, the White House coronavirus response team warned in its report that Florida would face “serious new death threats” in the coming weeks.
The locality has been listed as the most dangerous epidemic “red zone” due to the rapid increase in confirmed cases.