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The assistant treasury minister, Dr Andrew Leigh, is delivering a speech on inequality in Covid deaths on Wednesday night, in his capacity as assistant minister responsible for the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

In the WD Borrie Lecture, Leigh will note that deaths from COVID were disproportionately concentrated among disadvantaged communities: more than three times higher in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, twice as high among people born overseas, and nearly twice as high for Indigenous Australians.

The mortality ratios from COVID in Australia are quite similar to those estimated in other advanced nations. As a share of the population, fewer people died from COVID in Australia than in most other affluent nations. Yet among those who died, the same health inequalities can be seen in Australia as in other advanced countries.

What might have driven the socioeconomic disparities in COVID mortality? And why might many of those disparities have been largest in the Delta wave? As I have noted, disadvantaged people may be less able to work remotely, more reliant on public transport, and more likely to live in crowded households. Uptake of vaccination and antiviral treatments have varied across society as vaccines and treatment became increasingly available. Another factor is that successive COVID waves have had varying degrees of severity. A final factor is that in the years since COVID began, population immunity has steadily risen.”

Across all waves of the pandemic, deaths from COVID were highest among those aged 80‑89 years. The median age of those who died from COVID was 87.4 years for females and 83.6 years for males. Males had a higher number of registered COVID deaths than females. For every 100 female COVID deaths, there were 126 male COVID deaths. Around 3-quarters of all COVID deaths occurred in Victoria and New South Wales..”

Over the past decade, governments have in several instances unfortunately weaponised trade and economic interdependence as a way of handling big and small power rivalries and disagreements. In Australia today, you’re living this reality in your region.

Weaponisation of trade is problematic, not least, because it creates some challenges for the rule-based multilateral trading system, but also because it could slide down the slippery slope beyond a few targeted products or sectors to wider economic disruptions. And of course, when viewed as economic coercion, it could become a tit-for-tat exercise, with the possibility of slipping out of control, leading to broader, more painful repercussions: economic, political, and social.

I was grateful to hear them emphasise Australia’s enduring commitment to a strong and effective World Trade Organization and to our ongoing reform efforts.

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(SOURCE) https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2022/nov/23/australian-politics-news-live-updates-parliament-industrial-relations-workplace-anthony-albanese-peter-dutton-interest-rates-cost-of-living-integrity-nacc

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