Two tourists were arrested on arrival in Hawaii last Friday after trying to bribe a Honolulu airport worker out of required quarantine on arrival, since they lacked eligible negative Covid-19 tests.
Officials said that Johntrell White, 29, of Simmesport, La., and Nadia Bailey, 28, of Baton Rouge, La., arrived in Hawaii without COVID-19 test results, triggering a required 10-day quarantine. White then allegedly offered an airport screener $2,000 to enter without requiring quarantine, and Bailey allegedly offered the screener an additional $1,000 to allow them both to enter.
The airport screener alerted deputy sheriffs to the alleged bribery attempt, and both White and Bailey were arrested. After their arrest, they were booked and released, and immediately flew back to the mainland, officials said.
This tells us several things,
- The price to bribe your way out of quarantine is more than an average of $1500 per person (or, at least, it may vary by the person you’re trying to bribe)
- Whether the story is even true or not, Hawaii is putting it out there, it’s at least as important for people to think bribery won’t work as it is to make sure officers reject bribes (someone, somewhere, will always be tempted by some amount).
- It’s strange to put people back on planes you think may have Covid-19 (which the underlying quarantine order presupposes). It’s stranger still that Hawaii would want these people to return to the islands which would be necessary for them to face charges.
Apocryphal Winston Churchill stories are the best stories. In one, Churchill approached Lady Astor and asked if she’d sleep with him for a million pounds sterling. She stammers for a moment and agrees. He then asks if she’d do it for just 50 pence and she’s offended, “What kind of woman do you think I am?” to which Churchill responds, “We’ve already established that, Madam. Now we’re just haggling over price.” You can even spend money on a vaccine.
Presenting a negative Covid-19 test isn’t that hard, no matter how nonsensical Hawaii’s rules for tests are. The cheaper option than bribing or facing charges for attempting the bribe is just to comply, although even fake tests are cheaper, too.
(HT: Demetrius J.)