Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) plans to withdraw black and minority ethnic (BAME) health workers from frontline roles in the fight against the coronavirus, in order to reduce the supposedly disproportionate BAME death toll.
Amanda Pritchard, the Chief Operating Officer for NHS England and Chief Executive Officer for NHS Improvement, has sent a nine-page letter to health chiefs highlighting “Emerging UK and international data suggest[ing] that people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are also being disproportionately affected by Covid-19.”
In advance of an expected report commissioned by Health Secretary Matt Hancock on the ethnic breakdown of coronavirus fatalities, Pritchard told health bosses to “risk-assess staff at potentially greater risk and make appropriate arrangements” — with the left-wing Guardian reporting that these arrangements will include allowing minority personnel “to be redeployed to areas or services where they would have less chance of becoming infected” and “given priority for testing if they develop symptoms.”
Online Mob 'Names and Shames' British Mother for Not Clapping for NHS https://t.co/38uAiZHpMo
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 25, 2020
The moves comes just weeks after the launch of the controversial #YouClapForMeNow campaign and video, in which viewers who are presumed to harbour racist or xenophobic attitudes are berated for their imagined intolerance in light of the fact that ethnic minorities serving as key workers during the coronavirus pandemic are now among those being regularly applauded by the public for their efforts.
It is also unclear why or even whether the BAME death toll truly is “disproportionate” given ethnic minorities are more highly represented among NHS staff than in the general population, and make up a much larger share of the population in coronavirus hotspots like London — where those defined as White British have been a shrinking minority since the 2011 census was taken — than of the country as a whole.
Royal College of Surgeons has told Sky News it supports calls for members of ethnic minorities to be removed from the front line and adds that easing the lockdown now would put "intolerable pressure" on NHS healthcare workers
— Sky News Breaking (@SkyNewsBreak) April 30, 2020
As the guidance to withdraw BAME health workers from the coronavirus frontline would necessarily entail assigning white medics to work in roles carrying the highest risk of infection and, ultimately, death, it is not clear if such measures are even lawful are the Equality Act 2010.
British equality legislation is supposed to prohibit giving people from one racial group “less favourable treatment” than people from other racial groups, and prohibits “segregating [a person from a particular racial group] from others” in particular.
Breitbart London has contacted the Equality and Human Rights Commission — the statutory public body which is supposed to enforce Britain’s equality laws — for clarification.