Beachgoers in Miami on June 10. Photo: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

A former data scientist at Florida's Department of Health who helped design the state's coronavirus tracker has created a virus dashboard after being fired from her position in May, the Washington Post reports.

Where it stands: Rebekah Jones' tracker counts over 7,500 more coronavirus cases in Florida than the state health department's official dashboard, which matches data from Johns Hopkins. Axios uses data from Johns Hopkins and the COVID Tracking Project as its standard for tracking the virus.

Catch up quick: Jones says that a top official told her to "manipulate" data to encourage public support for the state's reopening plan in rural counties, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

  • Jones told the Times that she was reassigned on May 5, after objecting to the removal of data on Floridians who tested positive for the virus. The order came from the Division of Disease Control and Health Protection director, per the Times.
  • Jones claims that she was asked specifically to delete data that showed some residents had tested positive for the virus as early as January, the Post reports.

What they're saying: “I wanted to build an application that delivered data and helped people get tested and helped them get resources that they need from their community,” Jones told the Post. “And that’s what I ended up building with this new dashboard.”

  • The Florida Health Ddeepartment has called Jones' initial allegations of data manipulation "patently false." A department spokesman said that the January dates Jones referenced "could also represent the first day someone came into contact with an infected person or went to a place where she may have contracted the virus," in a statement to the Post.
  • A spokeswoman for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told the Miami Herald in May that Jones was removed from her position for “a repeated course of insubordination," which included modifying the department's COVID-19 dashboard.

Go deeper: Coronavirus curve rises in Florida and Texas

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 30,814,638 — Total deaths: 957,632— Total recoveries: 21,068,829Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 6,766,724 — Total deaths: 199,268 — Total recoveries: 2,577,446 — Total tests: 94,211,463Map.
  3. Politics: Trump's health secretary asserts control over all new rules, including for vaccines In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
  4. Education: What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning
  5. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19.
  6. World: Guatemalan president tests positive for COVID-19 — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.
Sep 18, 2020 - Health

Rep. Khanna: COVID-19 could change the perception of public health care

Rep. Khanna and Axios' Margaret Talev

The universal experience of COVID-19 could change how opponents view Medicare for All, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) said at an Axios virtual event on Friday.

What they're saying: "The pandemic has reminded us of our shared humanity with other American citizens. It's no longer possible to think, 'Oh, we're not part of those who get sick.' Now almost everyone knows, unfortunately, someone who has been hospitalized, someone who had a serious bout with COVID," Khanna said.

Rep. Brooks: We need to better prepare for pandemics

Axios' Margaret Talev (L) and Rep. Susan Brooks (R). Photo: Axios

Insufficient stockpiles and a lack of personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic should serve as a warning for America on future preparedness, Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) said at an Axios virtual event on Friday.

What they're saying: "Congress had been beefing up for years — the appropriations for preparedness — it certainly was not enough, and we recognize that," Brooks said.