TALLAHASSEE — As Vice President Mike Pence quietly regarded on, Gov. Ron DeSantis unleashed his temper on a former state worker on the middle of a debate over Florida’s coronavirus knowledge.
DeSantis, visibly aggravated and elevating his voice, blasted Rebekah Jones, age 30, who was fired this week from the Florida Division of Well being after she raised doubts in regards to the veracity of coronavirus testing knowledge on the Florida Department of Health’s Covid-19 dashboard.
“She’s not a knowledge scientist. She is any individual that has a level in journalism communication and geography,” DeSantis instructed reporters in Orlando, growing animated. “She will not be concerned in collating any knowledge, she doesn’t have the experience to try this.”
Pence, on the town to debate the state’s pandemic response and tour a long-term care facility, stood by as DeSantis, a Republican, criticized Jones professionally and famous her pending authorized points.
“She can be underneath energetic legal costs within the state of Florida for cyberstalking and cyber sexual harassment,” stated DeSantis. “I requested the Division of Well being to elucidate to me how somebody can be allowed to be charged with that and proceed on.”
Leon County courtroom data present that Jones is going through a legal stalking cost. She didn’t reply to requests for remark by telephone on Wednesday. Earlier makes an attempt to achieve her at residence and by telephone had been unsuccessful.
DeSantis spokesperson Helen Aguirre Ferré issued a written assertion Tuesday saying there was no knowledge manipulation on the state’s coronavirus tracker and that Jones was fired for insubordination.
Florida As we speak printed an electronic mail this week by which Jones expressed concern that the state coronavirus knowledge tracker may change into much less clear after she was faraway from its oversight.
DeSantis on Wednesday defended the location and famous that it had drawn reward from Deborah Birx, a member of the White Home Coronavirus Job Power. Birx has praised Florida’s knowledge transparency throughout White Home briefings.
“Our knowledge is out there, our knowledge is clear, in actual fact Dr. Birx has talked a number of instances about how Florida has the best possible knowledge,” stated DeSantis.
He additionally lashed out at press protection of early cororonavirus outbreak forecasts that predicted Florida’s well being care infrastructure can be overrun. These forecasts had been based mostly on the idea that Florida officers would take no motion towards the outbreak, however DeSantis, on a near-daily foundation of late, has held them up as proof that his response to the virus was the precise one, and that public well being consultants and members of the media who reported on them had been incorrect.
DeSantis additionally has blasted critics who he stated predicted Florida would change into the subsequent New York or Italy, two infamous coronavirus hotspots.
“Hell, we’re eight weeks away from that and it has not occurred,” stated DeSantis, throwing his arms down and puffing his chest in direction of reporters as Pence stood by.
Wednesday’s efficiency was according to the governor’s response to critics because the coronavirus pandemic started. Early in his first time period main the battleground state, DeSantis was seen as a average who boasted bipartisan help. That picture has evaporated as his assaults on critics of his coronavirus response have grown extra indignant.
Pence praised the state’s response to the outbreak.
“Florida has actually set the tempo,” he stated throughout a tour of the care facility, in line with the Orlando Sentinel.
— to www.politico.com