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Florida state police on Monday raided the home of a former state health department data scientist who created her own coronavirus case tracker as an alternative to the state's COVID-19 dashboard.

Driving the news: The raid comes several months after Rebekah Jones was fired over what she said was refusing to "manipulate data" for the state, per the Tallahassee Diplomat.

  • The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) said its agents were investigating allegations that someone at her residence had illegally accessed the Department of Health's messaging system.

Of note: The Florida Health Department has called Jones' initial allegations of data manipulation "patently false."

  • A spokesperson for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) 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.

What she's saying: Jones tweeted Monday there will be no update today" on her COVID-19 dashboard.

  • Jones said that the agents took her phone and computer she uses to post the case numbers in Florida.
"This is what happens to scientists who do their job honestly. This is what happens to people who speak truth to power."
"If [Florida Gov. Ron] Desantis thought pointing a gun in my face was a good way to get me to shut up, he's about to learn just how wrong he was. I'll have a new computer tomorrow. And then I'm going to get back to work."
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

What they're saying: The FDLE said in a statement to local news outlets that it began an investigation November 10 "after receiving a complaint from the Department of Health regarding unauthorized access to a Department of Health messaging system which is part of an emergency alert system, to be used for emergencies only."

  • "Agents believe someone at the residence on Centerville Court illegally accessed the system," the statement added, per the Tampa Bay Times.
  • The statement said FDLE agents “knocked on the door and called Ms. Jones in an attempt to minimize disruption to the family."
"Ms. Jones refused to come to the door for 20 minutes and hung up on agents. After several attempts and verbal notifications that law enforcement officers were there to serve a legal search warrant, Ms. Jones eventually came to the door and allowed agents to enter."
  • The Florida Department of Health directed Axios to the FDLE for comment. The FDLE did not immediately respond.

Go deeper: Ousted Florida health dept. data scientist creates coronavirus tracker

Go deeper

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Science helps New Zealand avoid another coronavirus lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) visits a lab at Auckland University in December. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand has avoided locking down for a second time over COVID-19 community cases because of a swift, science-led response.

Why it matters: The Health Ministry said in an email to Axios Friday there's "no evidence of community transmission" despite three people testing positive after leaving managed hotel isolation. That means Kiwis can continue to visit bars, restaurants and events as much of the world remains on lockdown.

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

WHO says most pregnant women can now receive coronavirus vaccine

A doctor administering Moderna's coronavirus vaccine at a university hospital in Essen, Germany, on Jan. 18. Photo: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

The World Health Organization has altered its guidance for pregnant women who wish to receive the coronavirus vaccine, saying now that those at high risk of exposure to the COVID-19 or who have comorbidities that increase their risk of severe disease, may be vaccinated.

Why it matters: The WHO drew backlash for its previous guidance that did not recommend pregnant women be inoculated with vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, even though data indicated that pregnancy increased the risk of developing severe illness from the virus.

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

Ex-CDC director Tom Frieden on the next COVID-19 vaccines

Americans fortunate enough to receive COVID vaccines now, outside of clinical trials, are getting shots made by either Pfizer or Moderna. But newly released data from Novavax and Johnson & Johnson suggests that more vaccines could be on the way, with J&J's requiring a single dose.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the news and why it matters with Tom Frieden, former head of the CDC, as COVID-19 variants spread globally.