Free Market Foundation (FMF) bestows award upon PANDA for championing freedom during the pandemic
Johannesburg – On Wednesday evening June 23, the FMF will bestow the first Free Market Foundation Award upon Pandemics: Data and Analytics (PANDA), a group of multi-disciplinary professionals, for making a credible case for freedom as an alternative to lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nick Hudson, Chairman of PANDA, will accept the award on behalf of the group.
According to its website, PANDA aims to promote open science, human agency, and courageous societies by empowering the public with accurate information. This enables individuals to exercise freedom of choice, preserve human liberties and a free society.
Any new threat to people’s lives – and livelihoods – should be taken seriously. Unfortunately, the trend worldwide was for massive State controls and abuses of citizens’ civil liberties. PANDA aims to provide a credible alternative. While no policy response can be perfect, the world must be wary of those responses that entrench government power, destroy businesses, and force people into hunger and poverty.
Martin van Staden, member of the FMF’s Executive Committee and MC at the award ceremony, says that the FMF Award is meant to recognise those individuals and groups who advocate effectively for freedom both intellectually and practically. “There are inventors who make government less relevant in our daily lives, there are advocates who effectively push back against encroaching authoritarianism, and there are intellectuals who make fresh cases for liberty; but they rarely receive recognition for their efforts. We at the FMF hope to begin a new trend of recognising those who advocate for liberty as the best solution for the problems that plague the world,” says Van Staden.
Hudson will speak about the crumbling foundations of the COVID-19 lockdown narrative:
“The novel recipe of lockdowns, masks, fear campaigns and lots of stickers turns out not only to entail horrific collateral damage, but to worsen Covid outcomes. An edifice of lies has been sustained by ruthless censorship, media blankets, and extensive conflicts of interest at our institutions of public health and science. As the lies are exposed, we stand at a crucial junction in history. Down one road lies a painful repeat lesson from history – that technocratic centralisation and surveillance deliver only stasis and gross inequality. Down the other lies an opportunity to cast off the yokes of woke critical theory, concentration of power and safety culture, and to reassert the generativity afforded only by personal agency, freedom of expression, decentralisation and an evolutionary approach to knowledge and economy.”
Robert Vivian, Deputy Chairman of the FMF’s Executive Committee, reasons the award to PANDA as follows:
“The West has lost a great deal of freedom and that freedom will only be regained if people have the courage to stand against bigotry, which is what PANDA has done. Unlike other state interventions, the COVID intervention abridged the liberty of individuals to work and the end of the ability to work is the end of the free market and economy. PANDA was also one of the first, if not the first, to attempt to objectively assess the impact of the state intervention on the economy. Not surprisingly, PANDA has been subject to attack but remains unbowed.”
You can view the award ceremony at 1800, June 23: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OMquZKpQbI
Read Prof Robert Vivian’s motivation regarding the FMF Award to PANDA here.
PLEASE NOTE: Award event is 1800, June 23