Florida Today reports:
Late last Friday, the architect and manager of Florida’s COVID-19 dashboard — praised by White House officials for its accessibility — announced that she had been removed from her post, causing outcry from independent researchers now worried about government censorship.
The site was created by a team of Florida Department of Health data scientists and public health officers headed by Rebekah Jones. Citing “reasons beyond my division’s control,” Jones said her office is no longer managing the dashboard, is no longer involved in publication, fixing errors or answering questions “in any shape or form.”
“As a word of caution, I would not expect the new team to continue the same level of accessibility and transparency that I made central to the process during the first two months. After all, my commitment to both is largely (arguably entirely) the reason I am no longer managing it.”
Miami’s CBS News affiliate reports:
Rebekah Jones said in an email to CBS12 News that her removal was “not voluntary” and that she was removed from her position because she was ordered to censor some data, but refused to “manually change data to drum up support for the plan to reopen.”
White House #coronavirus Dr. Birx praised her work on national tv.
Florida’s COVID-19 response dashboard worked very well.
It showed where cases were rising or falling by zip code.
Now, the Republican Gov. fired its architect.
Because she’s a success.https://t.co/405Xxa5Ipo
— Grant Stern (@grantstern) May 19, 2020
Florida’s COVID-19 case and death counts suggested the state wasn’t ready to open—so the Florida Department of Health scientist who shared that data was fired. #FloridaDeservesBetter #SuperStates https://t.co/bBWpelp44s
— Swing Left (@swingleft) May 19, 2020