Leo Vardakar has responded to a call out by pop star Miley Cyrus, who tweeted the soon-to-be Tánaiste over the weekend.
Miley Cyrus got in touch with a number of EU leaders, including heads of government in Ireland, Italy, Spain and The Netherlands, with the message to Varadkar reading: 'All across Ireland citizens joined in solidarity with Black Lives Matter in the US. We must stay united with the world to tackle #COVID19 and the racial injustice of health inequalities. Please join us, PM @LeoVaradkar? #GlobalGoalUnite'
The tweet expressed concern that people of colour are affected by Covid-19 more so than others and Varadkar has since responded by telling the Sunday World: "I welcome Miley, or indeed anyone, reaching out to me. We don’t have any data on whether Covid has affected black and minority ethnic group people more than white people in Ireland the way it has in America and Britain. We need to find out."
He added that "the information we have is that Covid has affected affluent households in Ireland more than disadvantaged ones which is very different to America and Britain. Black Lives Matter."
GlobalGoalUnite, the hashtag Cyrus used, refers to Global Citizen's efforts to support people in the battle against Covid-19, with a post on its website explaining: 'The impact of coronavirus in European countries and beyond has been dramatic. From lives lost to job insecurity, life for millions of people has been turned upside down. As populations everywhere look for a light at the end of the tunnel, our best chance of a return to normality is for tests, treatments and a vaccine against COVID-19 is to be available equally to everyone.
'COVID-19 has crossed almost every border, and it will take cooperation across borders to beat it. To lessen the pandemic’s lasting global impact and help prevent a second wave, we need to work together and make sure the most vulnerable are not left behind.'
Some of the leaders questioned have responded directly to Miley's tweets...
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) June 13, 2020
An international pledging summit is due to take place on Saturday, June 27.