COVID Tracker Rebekah Jones Raises $200K on GoFundMe After Armed Raid on Her Florida Home

Rebekah Jones, the data scientist who was fired from her job at the Florida Department of Health earlier this year, has raised almost $200,000 in donations following an armed raid at her home.

Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) served a search warrant on Jones' Tallahassee home on Monday morning.

The agency said Jones has been under investigation after the Department of Health filed a complaint about someone illegally accessing the state's emergency alert system last month, according to the Associated Press.

Jones posted a 30-second video of the raid on her Twitter page, which has since amassed almost 10 million views.

The video shows multiple officers enter her home with their guns drawn and one is seen pointing his gun up a stairwell as Jones yells: "Do not point that gun at my children!"

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There will be no update today.

At 8:30 am this morning, state police came into my house and took all my hardware and tech.

They were serving a warrant on my computer after DOH filed a complaint.

They pointed a gun in my face. They pointed guns at my kids.. pic.twitter.com/DE2QfOmtPU

— Rebekah Jones (@GeoRebekah) December 7, 2020

"They pointed a gun in my face. They pointed guns at my kids," Jones later tweeted, although the video does not show that.

On Twitter, Jones said authorities had taken all of her "hardware and tech", including the computer she uses every day to post coronavirus case numbers for Florida and the country.

Following the incident, Jones set up a GoFundMe page seeking to raise funds to replace her computer and pay legal fees.

"Looks like I need a new computer and a hell of a good lawyer," she wrote on the page. "And if the governor manages to invent something to lock me away, my family will need help," she added.

As of early Wednesday, she had amassed more than $180,000 towards her $1 million target.

Jones was fired from her post in May after raising questions about the state's COVID-19 data. According to the AP, records show she had been reprimanded several times and was eventually fired for violating policy by making public remarks about the information.

Since then, she has been a vocal critic of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' response to the pandemic.

She also alleged that managers at the Health Department had urged her to manipulate the state's COVID-19 data to make the outbreak seem less severe as leaders were moving to lift coronavirus restrictions and reopen the state's economy. State officials have denied the accusation.

A lot of people asked me how they can help.

1. A job not in Florida
2. Spread the word
3. https://t.co/jw4FHGqZxt

— Rebekah Jones (@GeoRebekah) December 8, 2020

The Tampa Bay Times reported that someone hacked into the Department of Health's system in early November, warning employees to "speak up before another 17,000 people are dead. You know this is wrong. You don't have to be a part of this. Be a hero. Speak out before it's too late."

Jones denied sending that message in a CNN interview after her home was raided, saying: "I'm not a hacker."

She also characterized the raid as DeSantis' bid to intimidate and silence her.

"They claimed it was about a security breach," she wrote in one tweet. "This was DeSantis. He sent the gestapo."

"This is just a very thinly veiled attempt of the governor to intimidate scientists and get back at me while trying to get to my sources," she added on CNN. "[DeSantis has] been firing DOH sources left and right."

In a statement to Newsweek, Jones' attorney Lawrence G. Walters said the agents who executed the search warrant "were unnecessarily reckless and aggressive."

He added: "We are concerned that these actions may be retaliation in response to her whistleblower claim against the Department of Health and her criticism of the governor's COVID 19 response."

Walters added: "We will thoroughly investigate the alleged basis for this search which resulted in the forced disclosure of confidential communications with our adversary in litigation. We also intend to pursue all lawful avenues to seek return of our client's property and vindicate her civil rights."

DeSantis' office and the Florida Department of Health have been contacted for comment.

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People line up at a walk-up COVID-19 testing site in Miami Beach on November 17. Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images