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Human Rights Campaign Projects CDC 'Banned' Words On Trump Hotel

21 December 2017

The Post report is based on an account from an anonymous source who was present for a 90-minute briefing about the annual budget, and that "other CDC officials confirmed the existence of a list of forbidden words". "HHS and its agencies have not banned, prohibited or forbidden employees from using certain words", Lloyd said in an email to the Washington Post.

Friday, the Washington Post reported the Center for Disease Control and Prevention banned a handful of words during a budget meeting including: vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, transgender, fetus, evidence-based and science-based.

CDC's current website includes a "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health" page with photographs of "Gay and Bisexual Men", "Lesbian and Bisexual Women", and "Transgender Persons", suggesting that, if there is an effort underway by the Trump administration to minimize the visibility of LGBT people, it has not yet permeated the agency.

"In conjunction with the enormous light display, HRC has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for any and all records, including communications with the CDC, relating to the banned words from November 2016 onward. 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". "It was never intended as overall guidance for how we describe and conduct CDC's work".

Yesterday, CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, MD, in Twitter posts, acknowledged concerns prompted by the media reports, saying the CDC is committed to its public health mission as a science- and evidence-based institution. But the CDC budget official also said that if they could not find a good alternative, it was acceptable to use the word, according to the HHS official.

But Fitzgerald did not deny that some staff may have been instructed to avoid certain language in key budget documents.

Human Rights Campaign Projects CDC 'Banned' Words On Trump Hotel
Human Rights Campaign Projects CDC 'Banned' Words On Trump Hotel

"While HHS received 10,729 comments on its proposal", noted Politico, "the agency has only posted 80 comments - less than 1 percent of all submissions - that overwhelmingly back the administration's anti-abortion policies or attack regulations advanced by the Obama administration, such as a rule forcing health care providers that accept federal funding to provide services to transgender patients".

An HHS official did not respond to any additional questions.

The CDC is in a sensitive position.

"Everybody in the public health community recognizes that there is a slowly growing timidity by colleagues whose budgets are dependent on the federal government. We will continue to talk about all our important public health programs".

There's no written directive about not using the term; it's only been communicated verbally, said the medical leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not want to jeopardize a working relationship with CDC officials. "Everybody's afraid to do their job right now", he said. But she said she did not know if there was any specific prohibition about using those seven words.


Human Rights Campaign Projects CDC 'Banned' Words On Trump Hotel