You may call folks shrill for saying that the country under President Donald Trump is sliding into fascism, but in a minute, all of us will be speaking in panicked, high-pitched tones.
The Chicago Tribune is reporting that there is now a list of words that are prohibited from appearing on any official document from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relating to next year’s budget, including “fetus” and “transgender”—you know, words the CDC actually uses in its work.
Not only is this straight-up censorship, but it is doubly egregious in that science is being tainted by some dubious partisan bullshit.
The Tribune reports:
Policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta were told of the list of forbidden words at a meeting Thursday with senior CDC officials who oversee the budget, according to an analyst who took part in the 90-minute briefing. The forbidden words are: “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”
In some instances, the analysts were given alternative phrases. Instead of “science-based” or “evidence-based,” the suggested phrase is “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes,” the person said. In other cases, no replacement words were immediately offered.
The question of how to address such issues as sexual orientation, gender identity and abortion rights - all of which received significant visibility under the Obama administration - has surfaced repeatedly in federal agencies since President Donald Trump took office. Several key departments - including Health and Human Services, which oversees CDC, as well as Justice, Education and Housing and Urban Development - have changed some federal policies and how they collect government information about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.
The Tribune goes on to report that this is par for the course since Trump took office, noting that the Department of Health and Human Services removed information about LGBT Americans from its website and dropped questions about sexual orientation and gender identity in two surveys of elderly people.
According to the report, several offices within the CDC actually use these banned words in their work.
“The National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention is working on ways to prevent HIV among transgender people and reduce health disparities. The CDC’s work on birth defects caused by the Zika virus, for example, includes research on the developing fetus,” the Tribune writes.
The ban is related to the budget and supporting materials that are to be given to the CDC’s partners and to Congress, according to an analyst at the agency. The president’s budget for 2019 is expected to be released in early February.
Read more at the Chicago Tribune.