Public Health England Review: Covid-19 Disparities

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:37 am on 4th June 2020.

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Photo of Kemi Badenoch Kemi Badenoch The Exchequer Secretary 10:37 am, 4th June 2020

It is imperative that we understand the key drivers of those disparities, the relationships between different risk factors, and what we can do to close the gap. That way, we will ensure that we do not take action that is not warranted by the evidence. The hon. Lady is right: Public Health England did not make recommendations, because it was not able to do so. Some of the data needed is not routinely collected, but acquiring it would be extremely beneficial. As I said earlier, I will be taking forward work to fill the gaps in our understanding, and review existing policies or develop new ones where needed. It is important to remind ourselves that this review was conducted in a short period, and it sets out firm conclusions. As the author of the report said on Tuesday night, there is a great deal of background and detailed information that we think will be helpful. It is not easy to go directly from analysis to making recommendations, and we must widely disseminate and discuss the report before deciding what needs to be done.