WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Sunday that seven words weren’t actually banned at the agency.
On Friday evening, the Washington Post reported that the words are “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based” could no longer be used on official documents for the 2018 budget.
CDC Director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald said in a Facebook post on Sunday morning that there were no banned words.
From the CDC post:
I want to assure you there are no banned words at CDC. We will continue to talk about all our important public health programs.
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.
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.
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.
Below is the full HHS statement addressing the 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. HHS also strongly encourages the use of outcome and evidence data in program evaluations and budget decisions.”
ABC News has asked for clarification, but had not received a response as of Sunday afternoon.
“President Trump is clearly hostile to the LGBTQ community, women, and science,” said Rea Carey, executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force in a statement on Sunday. “In a throwback to the FCC’s banning of seven ‘dirty words’ and Jesse Helms’s ‘no promo homo’ amendments, Trump banned the CDC from using seven words his supporters see as ‘dirty’ – including ‘transgender,’ ‘fetus,’ and ‘evidence based.’
“Our lives and our needs must not be censored. It is disgraceful for a government to attempt to wipe away transgender people, women, and science. President Trump should be ashamed of himself. The CDC knows that the HIV transmission risk for transgender people is high, that transgender people are subject to discrimination, and that they face violence just for being who they are.”
The Task Force called for people to resist the move at the CDC with the hashtag #CDCcensorship.