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.
I want to assure you there are no banned words at CDC. We will continue to talk about all our important public health programs.— Dr Brenda Fitzgerald (@CDCDirector) December 17, 2017
You may be understandably concerned about recent media reports alleging that CDC is banned from using certain words in budget documents. I want to assure you that CDC remains committed to our public health mission as a science- and evidence-based institution.— Dr Brenda Fitzgerald (@CDCDirector) December 17, 2017
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.— Dr Brenda Fitzgerald (@CDCDirector) December 17, 2017
CDC has a long-standing history of making public health and budget decisions that are based on the best available science and data and for the benefit of all people—and we will continue to do so.— Dr Brenda Fitzgerald (@CDCDirector) December 17, 2017
HHS statement addressing media reports: "The assertion that HHS has 'banned words' is a complete mischaracterization of discussions regarding the budget formulation process. HHS will continue to use the best scientific evidence available to improve the health of all Americans."— Dr Brenda Fitzgerald (@CDCDirector) December 17, 2017
HHS statement addressing media reports, continued: "HHS also strongly encourages the use of outcome and evidence data in program evaluations and budget decisions.”— Dr Brenda Fitzgerald (@CDCDirector) December 17, 2017
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:
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."
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:
CENSORSHIP—#Trump admin bans #CDC from using these words/phrases in budget docs:— David Beard (@dabeard) December 16, 2017
Reaction of CDC officials: "Incredulous"https://t.co/CjRqdihV3L @eilperin @bylenasun pic.twitter.com/q30oIRekCZ
The @realDonaldTrump Administration is MAKING AMERICA STUPID AGAIN. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention banned from using "science-based" and "evidence-based" terms. Are we now going to use Voodoo & leeches to treat diseases? #MASA https://t.co/f77yrSbMFQ— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) December 16, 2017
Americans: the government just banned the CDC from using *scientific words*, you’re losing the internet as a free forum and the President is planning to obstruct justice by firing the man who’s investigating him for obstructing justice.— Mitch Benn (@MitchBenn) December 16, 2017
You do know this is a coup, right?
The Trump admintold the CDC they can’t use the words fetus, transgender, science-based, evidence-based or diversity— George M Johnson (@IamGMJohnson) December 16, 2017
1. Thank goodness we aren’t idiots and know alternate words.
2. This is another attack on marginalized black and brown folks that we won’t sit in silence about.