The Trump administration will no longer allow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to use seven specific words in any official documentation starting in 2019, as the agency prepares its new budget.
Included in the list of forbidden words are “diversity,” “entitlement,” “evidence-based” “fetus,” “science-based,” “transgender,” and “vulnerable.”
“It was very much, ‘Are you serious? Are you kidding?'”
According to a new report by the Washington Post, policy analys ts at the CDC were advised of the new policy in a 90-minute briefing that took place on Thursday. In some cases, analysts were given alternative phrases that they could use. Instead of using “science-based” or “Evidence-based,” it was suggested that the use the phrase “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes.” In other instances, no alternatives were provided. Words that addressed issues of inclusivity such as “transgender,” “diversity,” and “vulnerable” were simply removed.
The move continues a Trump administration trend where the issues of gender identity, sexual orientation, and abortion rights are being removed from major government departments. The Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the CDC, the Department of Justice, Housing and Urban Development, and Department of Education have all experienced changes affecting how the collect and present information regarding the LGBTQ+ community.
The Department of Health and Human Services had already removed questions regarding gender identity and sexuality in two of their surveys for the elderly. They have also removed information about LGBTQ+ Americans from the HHS website, and have archived a page that outlines federal services that were available to LGBTQ+ people and their families. This included information on how they could adopt a child and receive assistance if they are victims of sex trafficking.
An analyst who attended the meeting at the CDC in Atlanta told the Washington Post the meeting was led by Alison Kelly, who is a senior leader in the agency’s Office of Financial Services. Kelly did not provide any information regarding why the language was being banned, only that she was relaying the information.
The source said that others at the meeting were surprised when they received list. “It was very much, ‘Are you serious? Are you kidding?'” the analyst said. “In my experience, we’ve never had any pushback from an ideological standpoint.”
The analyst also advised that other CDC officials have confirmed the existence of a list of forbidden words, and that it is likely that other parts of the HHS are using the same guidelines.