Discrimination is a key factor behind the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 Our response to Public Health England report on the impact of COVID-19 on BAME groups

16 June 2020

Commenting on Public Health England's report today examining the impact of COVID-19 on BAME groups, Dr Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive at the Health Foundation, said:

'There is clear evidence that COVID-19 is taking a greater toll on people in black and minority ethnic communities. Today’s important report summarises this evidence, the reasons underpinning it, and the shock and dismay that is being felt in black and minority ethnic communities. COVID-19 is having a disproportionate and detrimental impact, and discrimination is a key factor.

'We welcome Public Health England’s report and their recommendation of a properly funded strategy to tackle the wider circumstances in which people live – including education, job opportunities, working conditions and housing – which shape underlying health and vulnerability to COVID-19.

'However, the report makes no specific recommendation on tackling entrenched discrimination and racism. Black and minority ethnic communities speak loudly in this report and say discrimination is among the fundamental causes of ill-health. They should be listened to. 

'We have seen many commissions make recommendations on racial equality in the past. Now is the time for further concrete action, beginning with government.'

Media contact

Simon Perry
Simon.Perry@health.org.uk
020 7257 2093

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