Correction of language

Now they’re micromanaging the words civil servants can use. They’ve made a List of forbidden words.

The Trump administration is prohibiting officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases — including “fetus” and “transgender” — in any official documents being prepared for next year’s budget.

Policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta were told of the list of forbidden words at a meeting Thursday with senior CDC officials who oversee the budget, according to an analyst who took part in the 90-minute briefing. The forbidden words are “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”


Especially the last four. With the first three I can sort of see what they’re objecting to, I think – the words are emotive, even manipulative, as opposed to technical or scientific…or, to put it another way, they’re somewhat political. It still seems ludicrous to forbid them, but I could see a nudge to use more neutral language. But the last four? The government body responsible for disease monitoring and prevention is being told to stop using those? That’s deranged.

In some instances, the analysts were given alternative phrases. 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 person said.

Uh. That’s more political rather than less…also incoherent. Maybe they meant “in consultation with community standards and wishes”? Because “in consideration with” isn’t even English. But then if that is what they mean it’s grotesque. No, “community standards” shouldn’t overrule or compete with science and evidence. That thought is what has brought the Republicans to the place they are now.

At the CDC, the meeting about the banned words was led by Alison Kelly, a senior leader in the agency’s Office of Financial Services, according to the CDC analyst, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak publicly. Kelly did not say why the words are being banned, according to the analyst, and told the group that she was merely relaying the information.

Other CDC officials confirmed the existence of a list of forbidden words.It’s likely that other parts of HHS are operating under the same guidelines regarding the use of these words, the analyst said.

Don’t mention The Fetus.

At the CDC, several offices have responsibility for work that uses some of these words. The National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention is working on ways to prevent HIV among transgender people and reduce health disparities. The CDC’s work on birth defects caused by the Zika virus includes research on the developing fetus.

Quite so. Having political hacks telling them to stop using necessary words is…I don’t even know what to call it. They keep exhausting my supply of words, without even needing to ban any of them.

The longtime CDC analyst, whose job includes writing descriptions of the CDC’s work for the administration’s annual spending blueprint, could not recall a previous time when words were banned from budget documents because they were considered controversial.

Controversial? “Evidence-based” is considered controversial in the department that deals with disease? Do we prefer random guesses in disease control?

The CDC has a budget of about $7 billion and more than 12,000 employees working across the nation and around the globe on everything from food and water safety, to heart disease and cancer, to infectious disease outbreak prevention. Much of the CDC’s work has strong bipartisan support.

Welp, I guess the Trump people have a soft spot for disease.

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