Something evil—Vladimir Putin?—has let a bee into Trump’s orange bonnet. In part, it also smells like the evangelical ideology of Mike Pence woven past Trump’s hair plugs into his brain, because the White House has given the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) a list of seven words that are forbidden to be used in any CDC budget documents.
The words are vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, transgender, fetus, evidence-based, and science-based.
The half-baked rule was announced during a 90-minute briefing at the CDC in Atlanta on Thursday. CDC officials who oversee the agency’s budget dropped the bomb on attending analysts. An analyst at the meeting spoke off the record to the Washington Post about what transpired in the meeting. Apparently half-assed instruction was offered on how to rephrase information without using the terms science-based or evidence-based. “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes,” was one possible lame-brained example to avoid using science-based.
No alternative for transgender was suggested, or for fetus and diversity.
Although this is disconcerting news, it’s not a shocker. Under this Administration, the Health and Human Services Department (HHS)—which supervises the CDC—erased from its website any info about LGBTQ citizens. On data surveys for seniors, HHS omitted questions on sexual orientations and gender identity. There is some rogue good-deed-doer within HHS’s subdivision of the Administration for Children and Families who archived the LGBT page. The page serves the community by listing information about families, adoption, families with LGBTQ children, foster care, health and well-being, and human trafficking of which LGBTQ youth are disproportionally affected. It is probable that other agencies within the HHS have already been required to use the list or will soon be ordered to adapt to the policy.
The Office of Financial Services senior leader Alison Kelly presented the list to the CDC analysts, but did not give an explanation for the ban. The word ban is being utilized too much by the White House. It should be banned along with the orange tan. These imposed language limitations will make it difficult for offices within the CDC. What is the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention going to do while they continue their work to prevent HIV among transgender individuals? The CDC is doing research on developing fetuses with the goal of preventing Zika virus-caused birth defects. How can the agency describe their work when it’s time to write the budget?
The analyst said that folks in the meeting were “incredulous.”
“In my experience, we’ve never had any pushback from an ideological standpoint,” said the analyst.
When the remainder of the CDC scientists catch the news, the analyst said, “Our subject matter experts will not lay down quietly.”
With a seven-billion-dollar budget and 12,000 employees worldwide, the CDC tackles food and water safety, heart disease, cancer, and prevention of infectious disease outbreaks. All this work betters the lives of Democrats, Republicans, and anyone else
During the “forbidden word list meeting” it was revealed that some specific words in CDC budget drafts were sent back flagged, with instructions to replace vulnerable, entitlement and diversity. The latter two make laissez-faire sense, but why vulnerable? Too weak-sounding? Well, it’s a weak policy that’s already not sitting well with haters of totalitarianism.