The Trump administration has prohibited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from using words like “science-based,” “diversity,” and “transgender” in their official documents for next year’s budget, according to the Washington Post.
Senior CDC budget leader Alison Kelly met with the agency’s policy analysts on Thursday to announce the order. Other forbidden words include “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “fetus,” and “evidence-based.”
The administration suggested alternatives to some of the words. For example, officials can say “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes” instead of saying a recommendation is “science-based” or “evidence-based.” Other words seem banned outright, with no alternatives offered.
Kelly reportedly did not explain the reason for the new restrictions, saying she was just passing along the information.
An unnamed CDC analyst told the Post that everyone’s reaction was “incredulous,” and noted that the move was highly unusual.
“In my experience, we’ve never had any pushback from an ideological standpoint,” said the analyst.
The forbidden words broadly encapsulate the Trump administration’s adverse stances on climate change and LGBT rights, and raise more questions about its approach on diversity.
President Donald Trump has long disregarded the scientific consensus on global warming, calling climate change a hoax invented by the Chinese while rolling back several Obama-era environment protection policies. EPA chief Scott Pruitt has also cast doubts about human impact on the environment, which a majority of scientists agree is the driving force in global warming.
The move also highlights the administration’s attitude toward the LGBT community, particularly transgender people. Trump unsuccessfully attempted to ban all trans soldiers from joining the U.S military, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions has reversed a 2014 guidance by former AG Eric Holder that argued trans people were protected from workplace discrimination.
The Post notes that the Department of Health and Human services has removed information on LGBT people on its website and dropped questions on sexual orientation and gender identity in several surveys.
The administration’s push to prevent the CDC from discussing “diversity” comes amid Omarosa Manigault Newman’s highly-publicized resignation from her post as White House senior official. Omarosa told ABC News that it was “very, very challenging” being the only black woman in the mostly-white senior staff, many of whom “had never worked with minorities, didn’t know how to interact with them.”
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