by Countable | 12.16.17
According to a report by the Washington Post, late Thursday officials at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the federal government’s top public health agency, were given a directive to remove all use of seven words or phrases in their budget documents for 2019. The list of forbidden words are "vulnerable," “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”
In some cases, replacement phrasing was offered, suggesting the need to balance science with "community standards". In other cases, no alternatives were suggested.
A CDC analyst, on condition of anonymity, told the Post the directive is unprecedented:
"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.”
Multiple CDC programs, including the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, as well as the CDC programs geared towards combating Zika transmission to developing fetuses, will be affected.
Should the administration be able to ban words from government documents that describe central aspects of a program’s mission? Why do you think the administration is issuing these directives, and what do you think the result will be?
Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!
— Asha Sanaker
(Photo Credit: Public Domain Files / Creative Commons)
Written by Countable
This is the United States of America we have a first amendment. There are no forbidden words. Science has no agenda, and if your views disagree with the science that’s fine, but your views are not based in reality. The actions of Donald J Trump are becoming those of a wannabe king. He is becoming a clear and present danger to American values and democracy. I am calling on Congress to do the right thing and remove him.
It's as if this administration read 1984 and thought it was an instruction manual. Sadly the entire GOP has sold its soul to the highest bidder and is enabling and supporting this effort to destroy our democracy. Vote this party that proudly, vocally, and financially supports racists, sexists, child predators, men who brag about molesting women, kleptocrats, anti-intellectuals, and now purveyors of censorship out of office.
Banning words should not be on the agenda of the government of the free world.
This is absolutely disgusting. I cannot believe that our government is censoring scientific facts. Trump and his evangelical Christian followers are just as bad as an Islamic terrorist. We need to have safeguards in place in case another disgrace of a human being tries to push this.
THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS! I work as a registered nurse and my job is founded on the translation of EVIDENCED BASED science into care at the bedside. This needs to be repealed immediately, peoples lives depend on it!!!
Forbidding words is akin to a dictatorship. Do not allow this to happen. Do not disgrace our democracy.
Unconstitutional, ignorant, outdated, communist...I could probably come up with a million more words and/or reasons this is ludicrous but I don’t believe it’s necessary. Stop it already, just stop! You’re continuing actions of making a mockery of the country and it’s citizens has gone too far!!!
We are on our way to having an authoritarian government with Donald Trump as the dictator. Our democracy is being stolen one freedom at a time. How dare the Congress sit back and let this happen? Why are you failing the Constitution and the American people? You are a disgrace to your office if you allow this to happen!! I am watching and I will do everything in my power to see that you are not re-elected. The American people will not stand by and let you take our republic!
TOMECIDE: I’m speechless... forbidden words/ideas like what generated a book burning in the past. Someone is sick minded! What are the ramifications if someone breaks the 2017 Word Nazi rule of forbidden words?
I am outraged by this censorship of official, descriptive, necessary words from the CDC. I would like my medical recommendations to be “science-based” and “evidence-based.” Not just some Joe-Shmoe’s random opinion. I want to know how we can help “vulnerable” and “diverse” populations, which includes those who are “transgender,” of different races and nationalities, different levels of socioeconomic status, speaking different languages, and following different religions. I want to know how different diseases can affect the development of the “fetus” in the womb, so that we can have healthy newborn babies. Free speech in government areas of science, such as the CDC, is more than an “entitlement,” it’s supposed to be a right. Step up and defend that right.
I am deeply disturbed that the CDC has been issued this list of words and phrases it is forbidden from using. How can researchers adequately and accurately describe their work and findings if their vocabulary is limited? And what is the motivation behind selecting these specific words? At best, this flies in the face of first-amendment rights to free speech. At worst, it sounds like the beginning stages of implementing Orwellian Newspeak regulations.
What??!!! Why is the Trump regime so keen on emulating their counterparts in North Korea?! I’d like to see the United States maintain at least some pretense of democracy. Censorship of scientific government documents does NOT take this country in a good direction.
This banning of words at the CDC is disturbing and needs to be denounced!
We have something called "freedom of speech" in the United States. I'm beginning to wonder if George Orwell was in fact a time traveler or could maybe see the future and was trying to warn us of things to come. But alas, here we are stuck in a dystopian fantasy novel. Furthermore, only dictators ban words and try to take complete control. This country is downward spiraling so fast, I don't know if we're seeing an oligarchy or a fascist regime forming right before our eyes.
I do hope my reps don’t allow this to proceed. We are not in living George Orwell’s book of 1984 are we? Banning words that describe what the CDC does is ludicrous and should not be tolerated. Grow some balls and stand up to this idiot!!!
If specific words are being "banned" by this administration, it is just another example of the road we are traveling that leads to a totalitarian regime. What is happening in this country, and the direction in which this administration is leading the nation has disturbing parallels to what happened in Germany with the advent of the nazi take over. The suppression of science and intelligent discourse has begun. Pandering to a base of supporters that reflect the extremist attitudes analogous to extremist ideologies the world over. Animosity toward people of ethnic heritage different from conservative Caucasians is concerning. Inhumanity in the name of warped conservative "Christian" values, with its resultant violence against certain "undesirable" citizens of this nation has similarities to action taken against Jewish, Catholic, academics, and other people deemed less desirable in Germany prior to world war 2. The toxic nature of our current leadership cannot be understated. The lock-step following of the Republican base and "representatives" is difficult to comprehend and reflects just how far our country has fallen from the ideals that we, as a nation,were founded upon.
"Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it." -- George Orwell, 1984
Senators and Representative please investigate this report. Those particular words along with the phrase “community standards” smacks of Evangelical influence. Our constitution clearly states separation of church and state. Mike Pence is the portal for religiosity daily in the White House.
This corrupt GOP needs to go! Censoring documents are done under dictatorship and in communism.
This is the stupidest directive I've ever heard! Is this Russia to " thought control" what we can say or read? We need to describe things acutely and truthfully, not use "double speak" for propaganda purposes!