Labour’s shadow health secretary has accused the government of covering up vital recommendations that could help protect black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people from COVID-19.
Jonathan Ashworth’s criticisms come after Whitehall sources told Sky News the recommendations from a Public Health England (PHE) review were held back by the government, adding “ministers have had this element of the report”.
On Tuesday, the government issued the data element of the long awaited review, led by PHE national director for health and wellbeing Professor Kevin Fenton, following suggestions from sources it was set to be delayed because of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Data collected by PHE was published but a qualitative assessment, including the recommendations for the government, was not.
he published review found people from BAME groups were up to twice as likely to die with COVID-19 than those from a white British background, but there were no recommendations on actions that could be taken to protect BAME lives.
Sources say the second half of the report contains work which looks at social inequality and structural racism within the UK and has information from 4,000 stakeholders and organisations.
Mr Ashworth told Sky News: We know BAME people are more likely to die from COVID and more likely to fall seriously ill with COVID. This report needs to be published in full.
Covering up vital recommendations is completely unacceptable. Action must be taken to protect those disproportionately at risk from this horrific virus.