In one of the craziest scenarios yet concerning the novel coronavirus, multiple Los Angeles County Jail inmates were captured on film deliberately trying to contract COVID-19.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the inmates believe if they come down with the virus, they will greatly increase their chances of being granted an early release from jail and given home confinement.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva outlined the alleged scheme with the videos before reporters. Inside the day room at the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic, Calif., the surveillance footage shows inmates allegedly trying to contract coronavirus by sharing bottles and masks.
“There was some mistaken belief among the inmate population that if they tested positive, there was a way to force our hand and somehow release more inmates out of our jail environment, and that’s not gonna happen,” Villanueva said.
Moreover, Villanueva said the captured footage illustrates the inmates sharing bottles of hot water in an effort to raise their temperatures. High fever is one of the symptoms of the highly-communicable virus.
“With the hot water, they were trying to falsely elevate their temperature readings to generate a symptom for COVID-19,” Villanueva explained to the media.
Villanueva shows through highlights inmates at the L.A. jails drinking from the same Styrofoam cups and breathing into the same masks.
The twisted plan worked, as inmates contracting the deadly disease skyrocketed almost overnight.
“Then all of a sudden we saw a spike, a few weeks, ago, a very noticeable jump, and we couldn’t really understand why, when everything seemed to be going the way we wanted to,” Villanueva said, adding that the state of California had already reduced prison and jail populations because of COVID-19. “Had this pandemic swept through while we were sitting on 17,000 inmates, the results would have been catastrophic.”
Watch the LA County sheriff demonstrate in the video below: