Forbidden Words Ignite Fury

After a report that the Trump administration banned CDC staff from using 7 words—including "evidence-based," "diversity," "transgender," and "fetus"—in upcoming budget submissions, CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald attempted damage control over the weekend.

Saying the agency is committed to its mission as a science- and evidence-based institution, and tweeting that “there are no banned words at CDC,” she stopped short of refuting The Washington Post's report of the forbidden words, which also included "science-based," "vulnerable," and "entitlement."

The Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health called it, if true, “an Orwellian attack on scientific integrity,” and demanded the policy’s withdrawal in a letter to White House budget director Mick Mulvaney.

Harvard Global Health Institute Director Ashish Jha said that while the administration will likely counter that this is just about budget talks, it sends a strong signal to the agency: “And it’s going to change behavior of people who work there. And that’s much more damaging than any direct censorship.”


Thanks for the tip, Cecilia Meisner and Melissa Joyce!

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