Reacting to a Friday, Dec. 15, 2017 story in The Washington Post, health leaders say they are alarmed that officials at the CDC, the nation's top public health agency, are being told not to use certain words or phrases in official budget documents, including
Reacting to a Friday, Dec. 15, 2017 story in The Washington Post, health leaders say they are alarmed that officials at the CDC, the nation's top public health agency, are being told not to use certain words or phrases in official budget documents, including "fetus," ''transgender" and "science-based." AP Photo - David Goldman

Trump Administration bans list of words

SEVERAL news agencies are reporting a new Trump Administration ban on using a list of words and phrases by its agencies.

The ban on the words applies to several health agencies, including the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), Reuters reports, and applies to official documentation for the next US Federal Budget.

Officials at the CDC have been told they're no longer allowed to use the words "diversity", "entitlement", "fetus", "transgender", "vulnerable", "evidence-based", and "science-based", reports the Washington Post.

Dean of Boston University's School of Public Health Dr Sandro Galea has expressed concerns over the censorship, "because the words that we use ultimately describe what we care about and what we think are priorities."

"If you are saying you cannot use words like 'transgender' and 'diversity,' it's a clear statement that you cannot pay attention to these issues. Everybody in the public health community recognises that there is a slowly growing timidity by colleagues whose budgets are dependent on the federal government.

"I have a deep sympathy for the predicament that they are in."

Special counsel Robert Mueller has gained access to thousands of emails sent and received by Trump officials before the start of his administration, yielding attacks from transition lawyers and renewing chatter that Trump may act to end the investigation.
Special counsel Robert Mueller has gained access to thousands of emails sent and received by Trump officials before the start of his administration, yielding attacks from transition lawyers and renewing chatter that Trump may act to end the investigation. AP Photo - Susan Walsh

Reuters also reports officials at another agency were told they must use the term "Obamacare" instead of the act's correct name, the Affordable Care Act.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services defended its position, saying "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," he said.

As evidence of the ban, the Post offered a document from the White House Office of Management and Budget itself, which oversees President Trump's annual budget proposal.

The CDC has since sent an email to all employees stating, "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."

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