CDC gets list of forbidden words: Fetus, transgender, diversity

CDC gets list of forbidden words: Fetus, transgender, diversity

WAFB - Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the very agency tasked with saving and protecting the lives of the most vulnerable, are now under order by the Trump administration to stop using words including "vulnerable" in 2018 budget documents, according to The Washington Post.

According to the Post, policy analysts at the nation's top public health agency in Atlanta were told of the list of forbidden terms 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 terms are "vulnerable," "entitlement," "diversity," "transgender," "fetus," "evidence-based," and "science-based."

Alternative word choices reportedly were presented in some cases. For instance, in lieu of "evidence-based" or "science-based," an analyst might say, "CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes," the source said. But those working on the Zika virus's effect on developing fetuses may be at a loss for appropriate -- or acceptable -- words.

The reaction in the room was "incredulous," the longtime CDC analyst told the Post. "It was very much, 'Are you serious? Are you kidding?'"

The analyst expects growing backlash as news of the word ban spreads at the CDC.

"Our subject matter experts will not lay down quietly," the unnamed source said. "This hasn't trickled down to them yet."

Calling the order "reckless" and "unimaginably dangerous," Dana Singiser, vice president of public policy and government affairs for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told CNN.

"You cannot fight against the Zika virus, or improve women's and fetal health, if you are unable to use the word 'fetus.' You must be able to talk about science and evidence if you are to research cures for infectious diseases such as Ebola," Singiser said. "You must be able to acknowledge the humanity of transgender people in order to address their health care needs. You cannot erase health inequities faced by people of color simply by forbidding the use of the words 'vulnerable' or 'diversity'."

The CDC has a budget of about $7 billion and more than 12,000 employees working across the nation and around the globe on everything from food and water safety to heart disease and cancer, to infectious disease outbreak prevention. Much of the CDC's work has strong bipartisan support.

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