Rebekah Jones’ unlikely notoriety as a coronavirus whistleblower stemmed from her ground-breaking work at the Florida Department of Health, where she led data and surveillance during the pandemic.
Praised by the White House for her innovation and creativity in data communication, visualization and management, Jones fought for transparency and accessibility of COVID-19 data across the country. Her work became the standard for states nation-wide.
In May 2020, when asked to manipulate data in support of a premature plan to reopen the state, Jones refused, was fired, defamed and harassed by her own government. After leaving DOH, Jones built her own system to monitor the pandemic and launched a nationwide initiative to track cases in schools.
In September 2020, Jones was named one of Fortune Magazine’s 40 under 40 and one of Medium’s 50 experts to trust during a pandemic.
In December, her home was raided with guns drawn on her family by state police on the orders of Governor Ron DeSantis. Yet, she persisted, and was even named Forbes’ 2020 Tech Person of the Year – the first such award ever given by the publication. Now a legally-protected whistleblower, Jones is returning to Florida to run for Congress.