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CDC director Brenda Fitzgerald said there are 'no banned words' at the agency

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Updated December 18, 2017 05:21 PM EST

CDC Director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald has issued a statement on the budget discussion and about the report of 'banned words.'

The CDC remains committed to our public health mission as a science- and evidence-based institution, providing for the common defense of the country against health threats. Science is and will remain the foundation of our work.

As I have said previously, there are no banned, prohibited or forbidden words at the CDC—period. I want to emphasize to anyone who may believe otherwise that we continue to encourage open dialogue about all of the important public health work we do. CDC has a long-standing history of making public health and budget decisions that are based on the best available science and data that benefits all Americans—and we will continue to do so.

I understand that confusion arose from a staff-level discussion at a routine meeting about how to present CDC’s budget. It was never intended as overall guidance for how we describe and conduct CDC’s work.

For more than 70 years, CDC has pledged to the American people that we will treat all persons with dignity, honesty, and respect. We take this pledge as seriously today as we did when it was written.

President Donald Trump's administration may soon require the country's top public health agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to refrain from using certain words and phrases from use in the 2019 budget, according to a report by The Washington Post.

The article says Alison Kelly from the CDC’s Office of Financial Services met with senior CDC official on Thursday and gave them the list.

The CDC is prohibited from using the following words in any official documents being prepared for the 2019 budget:
  • vulnerable
  • entitlement
  • diversity
  • transgender
  • fetus
  • evidence-based
  • science-based

During the meeting, CDC senior leaders were given alternative phrases from some of the words. Instead of “science-based” or “evidence-based,” the suggested phrase is “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes."

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The paper spoke with an unnamed CDC analyst who could not recall a time when words had been banned from use before.

As expected, social media exploded in response to the proposed word ban:

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