Another political attack against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been, in the words of Jon Bon Jovi, “shot down in a blaze of glory.” The left has been gunning for the governor since he refused to lock down the Sunshine State amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but now, it seems even more apparent that we should start calling him “Teflon Ron.”
Florida’s Department of Health’s Office of Inspector General found that a former employee’s accusation that DeSantis’ administration compelled her to falsify data regarding COVID deaths in the state were “unsubstantiated” and “unfounded.” The inspector general’s office released a report to NBC News stating that it found “insufficient evidence” to support claims made by Rebekah Jones, a supposed whistleblower who alleged that she was told to massage COVID positivity rates on the state’s online dashboard. The report also cleared three officials Jones accused of malfeasance because they took down a data section from the website to make sure private health information was not published.
Florida Politics reported:
“The report looked at four main allegations, including whether [Jones] was ordered to falsify positivity rates and whether two top DOH officials wanted positivity rates miscalculated on the state’s dashboard. The Inspector General found there was ‘insufficient evidence’ to prove or disprove the conduct and that an allegation about the two officials was unfounded.
The IG report did not examine Jones’s claims that the DeSantis administration covered up COVID-19 deaths.”
The report appears to cast Jones as an individual who did not comprehend how public health policy and epidemiological data work. She was not privy to information given at higher levels, which caused her to make claims that made professional health officials “skeptical.”
Jones had also claimed the Health Department attempted to conceal COVID-19 deaths, which activist media outlets eagerly reported. The inspector general did not bother to look at her conspiratorial claims, which she also promoted on Twitter. The social media company ended up suspending her account for “platform manipulation and spam” after she repeatedly shared a Miami Herald article about police officers raiding her home.
The former Health Department employee was dubbed a “whistleblower” after the inspector general decided she met the criteria for certain protections under state law. But even though the agency has found her claims to be unfounded, her attorney, Rick Johnson, still insists his client is a whistleblower and that she plans to address her 2020 termination in court. “It’s simple: She was fired for refusing to manipulate Covid data,” he said, pointing out that Jones had issued a rebuttal to the agency when it released its initial findings.
Jones is also facing her own legal troubles. She is subject to a felony charge for allegedly downloading confidential health department data after she was fired for insubordination. She is also dealing with a misdemeanor stalking charge related to a sexual relationship she had with a former university student.
DeSantis became the COVID regime’s arch-nemesis when he defied their demands that he shut down his state. The fact that Florida fared better than lockdown-hungry states when it came to COVID deaths didn’t exactly make Democrats happy either. Since then, they have launched attack after attack, hoping to cause enough political damage to destroy his career. The activist media even went so far as to fabricate an inappropriate relationship between the governor and the Publix grocery store chain, which was tasked with distributing vaccines.
The Florida governor has been vindicated once again. But this does not mean the left is through with the GOP’s newest golden boy. The conservative movement has rallied behind him, viewing him as a younger, more politically-savvy version of former President Donald Trump. This means he will likely be a thorn in the Democrats’ side for years to come.