Florida and Georgia question public access to Covid-19 data | Instant News


In Florida, Rebekah Jones, official behind the state “dashboard”, a web page showing the number of Covid-19 cases and deaths in Florida that was praised by Dr. Deborah Birx, said he was expelled from the project and questioned the country’s problems. commitment to accessibility and transparency, according to Florida Today.

In Georgia, tracking data on the Covid-19 case in the state has been questioned after misleading graphs were posted on the Department of Public Health webpage, according to an article by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Late on Friday last week, Jones announced in an e-mail to researchers and people who had registered to receive updates about the data portal that he had been removed from his position in the Florida Department of Health, according to Florida Today.

“As a warning, I would not expect the new team to continue the same level of accessibility and transparency that I had made at the center of the process during the first two months,” Jones wrote, according to Florida Today.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis denied the claim during Tuesday’s press conference, referring to an email from Jones and saying his words had been “misinterpreted,” and that the situation was “not a problem.”

CNN had contacted Jones and he responded by text, “I am advised to wait for the interview at this time.”

The Florida Department of Health said Tuesday that Jones had “demonstrated repeated acts of defiance” during his tenure there, making “a unilateral decision to modify the Department’s COVID-19 dashboard without input or approval from the epidemiology team or its supervisors.

“Disrespect towards professionals who work around the clock to provide important information for the COVID-19 website is dangerous for the team.”

Jones has been asked to resign, the department said, and if he does not do so at 5 pm Thursday, he will be “dismissed.”

Jones began working for the Florida Department of Health one year and nine months ago, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Florida allows many businesses to open, with restrictions, on May 4. The reopening of phase one took effect Monday, allowing malls, restaurants, fitness centers and libraries to open at 50% capacity.

Three weeks after opening, Georgian business owners charted their own direction going forward

In Georgia, which reopened last month, charts on the Department of Public Health’s website seem to show that the number of new confirmed cases in the country with the most infections dropped every day during the previous two weeks, the Atlanta Journal of the Constitution was reported on May 13.

Bar graphs show a downward trajectory, but do not list the date in chronological order or keep the district in the same position every day, both of which cause confusion.

The graph has since been taken from the website.

The website also reported 2,400 more confirmed cases than tests conducted one day last week, according to the article. Errors are quickly corrected.

In the article, AJC said they were told by a department spokesman that the graph was incorrect because of an error in the way they sorted the data.

CNN has not yet received a response from the Ministry of Health on questions about bar charts.

In an interview with AJC, Rep. The state’s Scott Holcomb said he sent a letter to the governor’s office about the difference.

“I don’t know how people can maintain this chart as not being misleading, I really am not,” he told the newspaper.

Candice Broce, Governor spokesman Brian Kemp tweeted on May 11, “The graph should have been helpful but was greeted with intense scorn so I, for one, would never encourage the DPH to use anything but chronological order on the x-axis moving forward.”

He tweeted on the same day, “The x-axis was established in that way to show a decrease in value to more easily show peak and district values ​​on that date. Our mission failed. We apologize. It has been fixed.”

CNN has contacted Broce, Kemp’s office, the Georgia Department of Health and Holcomb’s office to provide comments.

Jamiel Lynch from CNN contributed to this report.

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