According to a new National Review report, “Rebekah Jones — the former COVID dashboard manager for the Florida state health department who falsely claimed that higher-ups in the DeSantis administration instructed her to input different COVID data than what they received — allegedly turned to spurious claims of sexual harassment to target a Ph.D. candidate at the Florida Atlantic University College of Business who challenged the way that news media was reporting COVID-death numbers.”
Jon Taylor, 37, a Ph.D. candidate at the Florida Atlantic University (FAU) College of Business, noted publicly that the media was “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 Daily Wire reports:
That triggered Jones to call Taylor a “quack” and a “fraud” on Twitter. After a quiet period, in October Taylor started to appear on local news shows and podcasts, and one of his tracker tweets went viral. Jones then accused Taylor and his adviser of sexual harassment, while tagging FAU, the president of FAU, 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,” Crowe reports. “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.”
Jones also emailed the dean of the FAU College of Business accusing Taylor and his adviser of 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,” Crowe reported.
The report notes how in one email, Jones accused Taylor of making “jokes that he would put his penis in my mouth to shut me up.”
But Taylor said, “That crossed the line to me. I would never say that to somebody. . . . I know the consequence of saying that to somebody. And it’s not just the consequence. I’m just a good person. I would never do that anyway. I don’t talk like that; it’s ridiculous.”
In January, Jones was arrested for allegedly getting unauthorized access into the state’s emergency messaging system, reports the National Review. If she’s convicted, the felony charge carries a sentence of up to five years in prison.