The UK government has denied British media reports that its review into how the coronavirus has affected BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) communities has been delayed because of the ongoing protests in the United States.
The report, analyzing how factors including ethnicity, gender and obesity can impact on people’s health outcomes from Covid-19, had been due to be published by the end of May, according to Public Health England.
It was commissioned by England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty in April, amid fears that the coronavirus pandemic is “disproportionately” affecting black and ethnic minority communities.
In response to CNN questions about why the report has been delayed, a Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said in a statement: “Ministers received initial findings yesterday [Monday]. They are being rapidly considered and a report will be published this week.”
It is not true to say this has been delayed due to global events,” the spokesperson added.
The UK’s opposition leader, Keir Starmer, on Tuesday called on the government to “stop the excuses” and “publish the review,” in a post on Twitter.
“BAME communities have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19. We need the findings of this review published and action taken now,” he said.
Covid-19 has also magnified systemic inequalities in the US.
As of May 11, 17,155 black Americans were known to have died due to Covid-19, according to an analysis from the American Public Media (APM) Research Lab of 65,000 deaths for which race and ethnicity data was available.
African Americans make up about 13% of the population in those places, but 27% of Covid-19 deaths for which race and ethnicity is known, APM research shows.
Health experts and leaders have expressed concern about the impact the mass protests could have on a community that is already being hit harder by the virus.