The Trump administration has reportedly given the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) a list of words that they can not use in official documents, according to a new report from The Washington Post, published on December 15.
In other words, the agency charged with protecting Americans from epidemics and safeguarding the health of the public must now formally avoid saying anything even slightly politically inconvenient to Republicans if it wants funding.
Numerous news sources are reporting on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been banned from using seven words in any official documents for the 2019 budget. An anonymous CDC analyst told the outlet the words are "vulnerable", "entitlement", "diversity", "transgender", "fetus", "evidence-based" and "science-based". The CDC's work on birth defects caused by the Zika virus includes research on the developing fetus.
An unnamed CDC analyst told the Post that everyone's reaction was "incredulous", and noted that the move was highly unusual.
WaPo's source believes the agency's scientists and subject matter experts "will not lay down quietly".
He claimed to CNN that the story was a "mischaracterization of discussions regarding the budget formulation process", but did not specifically deny that the words and phrases were verboten.
Others, outside the agency, are already responding with their own choice words.
HHS spokesman Matt Lloyd told the Post that the department "will continue to use the best scientific evidence available to improve the health of all Americans".
The forbidden words broadly encapsulate the Trump administration's adverse stances on climate change and LGBT rights, and raises more questions about its approach on diversity. In March, HHS chose to stop counting LGBT people in two surveys, the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants and the Annual Program Performance Report for Centers for Independent Living.
The move additionally provoked inquiries concerning why Trump's organization would need to see less employments of science or confirmation based realities in reports. And though banning the word "fetus" seems like an obvious attack on abortion, the unintended consequences could also be catastrophic. "You must be able to acknowledge the humanity of transgender people in order to address their health care needs".