Rebekah Jones, the founder of Florida’s coronavirus database who has clashed publicly with Gov. Ron DeSantis in a dispute over data manipulation, said she would surrender on Sunday after a warrant was issued for her arrest, reports The Guardian. Jones, who was fired by the Florida department of health in May for insubordination after claiming she was ordered to censor and manipulate information on the database she founded and managed, said she was told the charge was unrelated to that investigation, and accused DeSantis of retaliation.
The episode prolongs a bitter dispute that began last year when Jones claimed she was told to change data to support the Republican governor’s plan to reopen the state economy despite soaring COVID-19 cases. Since her dismissal she has continued to amass and disseminate state COVID-19 information online, maintaining a rival to the official database and more recently compiling and publishing information on cases in Florida schools.