My cmnt: To read the full article click National Review above. The gist of this piece is that Jones is part of the Covid-19 “we’re all gonna die” cabal. According to this article Jones is a nasty, vindictive person who lies much of the time and like Fauci loves the attention and fame Covid-19 has brought her, let alone the money. And Jon Taylor is a simple, honest man caught up, like so many millions of other innocent Americans, in the democrat scheme to misuse Covid19 to destroy President Trump and ruin America.
Jon Taylor’s desire to help Floridians understand a pandemic that was remaking their lives nearly cost him his career.
Taylor, a 37-year-old Ph.D. candidate at the Florida Atlantic University College of Business, waded into the world of COVID data analysis last spring after being informed that he had been in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. When he looked at the data for himself, what he found disturbed him: The way the Florida Department of Health was presenting the pandemic death toll was confusing members of the media who lacked a background in data analysis.
News outlets, local and national, were conflating the actual number of Floridians who had died of COVID on a given day with the number of COVID deaths that had been entered into the system on that day — a total that included deaths that had occurred days and sometimes weeks before the entry date.
The misunderstanding was a dream come true for news editors eager for attention-grabbing headlines detailing Florida’s “record-setting” daily COVID deaths.
Taylor, an affable and apolitical mathematician, thought he could clear things up by presenting the data in a more transparent way, so he and his academic adviser created their own COVID tracker, which relied on the state’s data but presented it on a timeline that accurately captured the number of deaths in the state each day.
Unbeknownst to Taylor, who studiously avoids political media, he had just stepped on a hornet’s nest.
By creating a tracker that showed the situation in Florida to be somewhat less dire than enemies of Governor DeSantis preferred to believe, he had left the staid world of academia and entered the world of politics, where facts are subordinated to the question of who those facts might help and who they might hurt.
And in Florida, the foremost enforcer of the dire COVID narrative was a woman named Rebekah Jones, the former COVID dashboard manager for the state health department.
“In the process of building the tracker, of course I found Rebekah Jones. You can’t do Florida COVID work without running into her,” Taylor told National Review.
Jones had been fired by the state in May for insubordination but managed to parlay her firing into national celebrity by falsely claiming that it was in retribution for her refusal to cover up the state’s COVID numbers — something that she couldn’t have done because she didn’t have access to the raw data, as National Review’s Charles Cooke reported. She used the resulting notoriety to launch her own COVID dashboard, which also relied on the state’s data, but presented it in a way that suggested cases and deaths were higher than what the state had reported.
Taylor was curious about Jones’s methodology, so he emailed her in late July, roughly a month after his tracker went live.
Taylor struck a friendly and inquisitive tone in the email, which was reviewed by National Review. But he never heard back from Jones, whom he calls “RJ” in the practiced way of someone who refers to a person so frequently that he is forced to resort to acronym.
That is until two days later, when Jones began attacking him publicly on Twitter, calling him a “quack” and a “fraud” in response to a blog post he wrote explaining how the state’s presentation of the COVID death data — the use of “event date” rather than the actual date of death — was leading to an overstatement of the severity of the situation.
Taylor was surprised that Jones took to Twitter to trash him after he reached out privately in good faith to hash out the differences in their respective approaches to the data. He argued with Jones on the platform briefly before deciding to drop the issue and move on.
And then came a lull, until October, when Taylor and his COVID tracker began getting some attention. Taylor was starting to get booked on local news shows and podcasts, and one of his tracker tweets went viral.
Jones jumped into the viral twitter thread, not to argue about Taylor’s methodology, but to accuse him and his academic adviser of sexual harassment, thereby stifling the original tweet, which was putting his tracker on the map.
Not only did Jones smear Taylor and his adviser as sexual harassers to her hundreds of thousands of followers, she also tagged their university, the university president, and university police.
Jones deleted the tweets, but Taylor preserved them as screenshots on the advice of a prominent academic who had previously been subjected to a characteristic Jones smear campaign. Jones makes a habit of deleting past tweets before arguing that she had never sent them in the first place, the academic told Taylor. Reached for comment, Jones also denied defaming Taylor and his adviser.
Not content to publicly tarnish the reputation of Taylor and his academic adviser, Jones took direct action to ruin their careers. Jones followed up her tweet storm by sending a series of emails to the dean of the FAU College of Business reporting Taylor and his adviser for sexual harassment.
The dean of the business school, Daniel Gropper, then escalated the complaint to the vice president of the university and the chief of the FAU police department, who asked Jones to substantiate her claims. Jones never did.
While most of the emails, which were obtained by National Review, include only vague accusations, one of them was extremely explicit. In it, Jones repeated an accusation that she first made on Twitter: that Taylor made “jokes that he would put his penis in my mouth to shut me up.”