Speaking in the House of Commons Chamber on Thursday 4th June 2020 in the debate on The Public Health England review of disparities in risks and outcomes related to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP said:
One of the biggest disparities in deaths from covid is the gender difference. The standardised mortality rate among men is 781 per 100,000; among women, it is 439 per 100,000. Across all communities, we are talking about fathers, brothers, sons, husbands, partners and friends. This affects the whole country. Will my hon. Friend ensure that resources are given to understanding why this gender difference is there and how we can tackle it in the future? I am sure that one thing the whole House can agree on is that all lives matter and they all matter equally.
That is absolutely correct; I agree with my right hon. Friend. At the risk of sounding clichéd, this is a Government that we want to work for everyone, but it is not yet fully clear what drives the differences in outcomes between males and females. Some could be driven by risks of acquiring infection due to behavioural and occupational factors—again, that is something that the PHE review was not able to look at—or by differences in how women and men develop symptoms and biological and immune differences. However, my right hon. Friend is absolutely right; this is something that does need to be looked into further, and we are actively working on that.