Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Politics

University investigation finds ‘no merit’ to allegations officials suppressed access to Florida COVID data

The University of Florida has completed an investigation into claims that university or state officials used pressure to destroy or prevent access to state COVID-19 data, finding that the allegations were meritless.

The investigation, conducted by the school’s Office of the Vice President for Research and the Office of Compliance and Ethics, was launched after a December 2021 report from the UF Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Academic Freedom. That report alleged that researchers at UF’s Gainesville campus felt external pressure to destroy data and faced “barriers” to accessing, analyzing and publishing their findings.

FLORIDA RECOMMENDATION AGAINST VACCINATING HEALTHY CHILDREN DRAWS SCATHING MEDIA RESPONSE

“Upon completing its investigation, the committee found no merit to the allegations regarding the handling of COVID-19 data at UF,” the investigation’s leaders — Vice President for Research David Norton and Chief Compliance, Ethics and Privacy Officer Terra DeBois — said in a letter to school President Kent Fuchs.

The letter said that the investigation included interviews and reviews of various documents which led the investigation committee to believe that the accusations were likely based on an October 2020 incident where a Florida Department of Health representative “expressed concerns regarding UF’s use and management of FDOH data that was gathered exclusively for use in FDOH public health surveillance (PHS) activities.”

DESANTIS ASKING STUDENTS TO TAKE OFF MASKS RESULTS IN MEDIA ‘MELTDOWNS’ DESPITE MASKLESS SOTU ADDRESS

The school officials elaborated, explaining that in the summer of 2020 the FDOH hired university employees to help conduct surveillance for contact tracing purposes and that this included granting them access to FDOH data and having them sign a confidentiality agreement. That October, some of the school employees shared some of that information at a Zoom meeting, where some of the other participants were FDOH representatives. According to the university, CDC representatives were also in the meeting.

“These UF employees did not have the authority to share the data or use them for research purposes,” the letter said. “In response, the UF team was reminded by university administrators to be cognizant of the boundaries and restrictions related to the use and collection of FDOH data.”

Fox News reached out to FDOH and a representative for Gov. Ron DeSantis for comment but they did not immediately respond.

DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw responded to the investigation’s findings by taking a shot at reporters who repeated the allegations.

“Let me guess, all the churnalists who wrote those breathless headlines last summer repeating evidence free allegations against @govrondesantis will apologize now. Just kidding, they will pretend this never happened,” Pushaw tweeted.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like

United States

WASHINGTON — The leaders of two House panels sent letters on Friday to eight social media companies demanding that they take “immediate action” to...

Politics

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruled on Friday that the Department of Justice must release an internal memo advising then-Attorney General Bill...

Europe

Ivor Ichikowitz is an industrialist and philanthropist. He is the chair of the Ichikowitz Family Foundation, which paid for the installation of the Mandela...

United States

Conservative groups in Michigan filed challenges this week to efforts to put two constitutional amendments on the ballot in November, one that would guarantee...

Politics

A Georgia judge declined to block a portion of a state election law that prevents people from handing out food and water in certain...

United States

Today’s newsletter is a guest contribution by Jeremy W. Peters, who writes for The Times’s media desk. He got his hands on a forthcoming...

Politics

DES MOINES, Iowa — Voters at the Iowa State Fair tell Fox News Digital that President Biden is “too old” to run, regardless of...

United States

WASHINGTON — Fresh off signing expansive climate legislation, President Biden and his administration are planning a series of executive actions to further reduce greenhouse...