Florida’s Governor Hopes You Pay No Attention to the Men With Guns - WhoWhatWhy

Florida’s Governor Hopes You Pay No Attention to the Men With Guns

Ron DeSantis, Rebecca Jones, raid
Photo credit: DonkeyHotey / WhoWhatWhy (CC BY-SA 2.0) See complete attribution below.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Whistleblowing is a thankless task. Consider:

If you’re Rebekah Jones of Miami, FL, you’ve got to — first of all — deal with the hassle of building a coronavirus dashboard that compiles infection statistics for the state; then you’ve got to endure the bureaucracy of, as she tells it, being pressured to manipulate data to present a rosier picture of Florida infection rates; then go through the rigamarole of being fired from the Department of Health for not manipulating said data; then start your own database to tell the unvarnished story; and then, finally, have to rush around on (ugh) a Monday morning to get the house ready for guests from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to visit, guns drawn, to confiscate computer equipment. 

On top of all that, Jones had to be the consummate host the whole time, asking her husband to come down the stairs, inviting the state agents to not point their guns at her family, making sure to document the thing for posterity.

On the upside, if you’re Jones, you suddenly get a lot of attention for your dashboard, plus a ton of spilled ink, cable news invites, and a dynamite new title from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R): “Darling of the fever swamps.” 

DeSantis, by the way, at first claimed he didn’t know about the raid, and then admitted he did; the discussion now is over whether the raid is really just retribution for Jones surfacing data that interfered with DeSantis’s attempts to reopen the state. (This was a viral wave or two ago.)

This is one of those stories that could get away from us pretty quickly. Jones was involved in a sex scandal with a student when she was a professor at Florida State University. Her lawyer removed himself from her case after his wife, an investigator with the FDLE, was assigned to Jones’s case. For some in the Florida government, it’d be great if the drama took over the story so that everyone would forget about the guys with guns, the dueling dashboards, and maybe the whole COVID thing altogether.


The cartoon above was created by DonkeyHotey for WhoWhatWhy from these images: Ron DeSantis caricature (DonkeyHotey / Flickr – CC BY-SA 2.0), body (US Marines), background (Rebekah Jones / Twitter), patch (SomeThingsLaw / Wikimedia), and cap (New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs / Flickr).


Related front page panorama photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from Georebekah / Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)  and The Covidm Monitor..

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2 responses to “Florida’s Governor Hopes You Pay No Attention to the Men With Guns”

  1. Avatar robert e williamson jr says:

    I have more to add.

    This is what happens to whistle blowers. See the Obama administration. What makes Florida’s actions so asinine its lack of awareness. Such as the fact the the numbers of potential victims in Florida because of it’s population has made it obvious that they like Venezuela have been under reporting their cases since day one.

    This happens constantly in state government, the highly skilled worker likely making big bucks is pressured not to produce data or reports that lobbyist to the states lawmakers might not like.

    Seen it with my own two eyes where I worked in Illinois State government. The guy was the director of a state agency and should have been indicted in my opinion. Instead as is done far to often in government he was bailed out and given an ever more prestigious job in the Federal government. I guess so they could keep their eye on him.

    Some one sure needed to. This is a long sad true story of abuse by a worthless leader.

    Nuff said.

  2. Avatar robert e williamson jr says:

    Florida Officials might want to be a bit careful with this sex scandal thing, lest they revive the Jeff Epstein saga that never really died a natural death, pun intended.