No, the CDC did not ban a list of words

21 December, 2017, 01:10 | Author: Keith Rowe
  • The Trump administration reportedly told agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services to avoid using certain words or phrases in official documents being drafted for next year's budget A spokesperson from the HHS disputes this

Matt Lloyd also said that the Department of Health and Human Services having "banned words" is a misunderstanding of the budget process, referring to a Washington Post report. "As part of our commitment to provide for the common defense of the country against health threats, science is and will remain the foundation of our work". She told the group there were other words too, but officials are avoiding writing them down, the analyst recalled her telling the group.

In their letter to the CDC, HHS and the Office of Management and Budget today, the Democratic senators ask about the development and dissemination of any discouraged words, the legality and enforcement of such a policy, and the policies in place to ensure the scientific integrity of the health agencies.

According to the Post, similar guidance on word choice has been issued at the State Department.

In other words, what happened regarding these other terms ("transgender", "fetus", "evidence-based", and "science-based") was not that retrograde Republicans ordered career CDC officials not to use these terms but that career CDC officials assumed retrograde Republicans would be triggered by such words and, in an effort to avoid having such Republicans cut their budgets, reasoned they might be best avoided.

No, the CDC did not ban a list of words
No, the CDC did not ban a list of words

Lloyd said the document originated within HHS. "The seven words and phrases - "diversity", "entitlement", "fetus", transgender", "vulnerable", "evidence-based" and "science-based" - were not to be used in documents that are to be circulated within the federal government and Congress in preparation of the next presidential budget proposal, the paper reported. The analyst requested anonymity because the person is not authorized to speak publicly about the meeting. The agency is able to protect public health through science precisely because its policies are based on science and evidence.

The source in the Washington Post report said budget officials recommended replacing "evidence-based" or "science-based" with the phrase "science in consideration with community norms and standards", which the three groups today called risky and misleading. During that discussion, the word "transgender" also came up, and the senior official also told the group it was a word to be avoided.

"If you are saying you can not use words like "transgender" and 'diversity, ' it's a clear statement that you can not pay attention to these issues". "HHS also strongly encourages the use of outcome and evidence data in program evaluations and budget decisions". Politico said HHS officials said they are not required to release all the comments because the comments were responding to a "request for information" and not a proposed rule change. The representative said that draft budgets had been sent back by the White House with those words circled for "correction".

The budget analyst present at the meeting does not recall the conversation unfolding in that way. Or, for that matter, why the agency should purposefully avoid describing pregnant women as being more vulnerable to complications due to Zika or other diseases.


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