A Soho Forum Discussion of COVID with Tom Woods

In lieu of the planned debate with Brent Orrell, Gene Epstein and Tom Woods discuss the prudence of COVID-related restrictions.


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Important Update from The Soho Forum: "[We regret] to inform you of a significant change to tonight's debate between Brent Orrell and Tom Woods. Unfortunately, Brent Orrell will not be able to participate as his granddaughter tragically passed away over the weekend. Our hearts go out to Brent and his family during this difficult time. In light of this, we've made adjustments to the event to ensure it can still proceed. Our director Gene Epstein will read, word-for-word, the script that Brent prepared, along with the slides Brent submitted. Tom Woods will then make his case for the negative. In lieu of an Oxford-style before/after voting, we will extend the Q&A portion and conclude the program with a 5-mins summation from Tom Woods."

The originally scheduled event was as follows:

Brent Orrell of the American Enterprise Institute and podcaster and author Tom Woods debate the resolution, "Government-imposed restrictions during the Covid pandemic were prudent and essential."

Taking the affirmative is Brent Orrell, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute focusing on job training, work force development, and criminal justice reform. Orrell has over 20 years of experience in the executive and legislative branches of government and was nominated by President George W. Bush to lead the Employment and Training Administration at the U.S. Department of Labor. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he wrote extensively on the impact of the disease on working conditions and the role of social distancing policies and practices in protecting worker and public health.

Taking the negative is Tom Woods, the host of The Tom Woods Show and author of 13 books, including latest Diary of a Psychosis: How Public Health Disgraced Itself During COVID Mania. He won the $50,000 first-place prize in the Templeton Enterprise Awards for his book The Church and the Market and was the winner of the 2019 Hayek Lifetime Achievement Award, given in Vienna by the Hayek Institute and the Austrian Economics Center.