CDC banned words

Raed Mansour/Flickr (CC-BY)

CDC can’t use the words ‘transgender’ and ‘diversity’ after Trump edict

The internet is confused—and concerned.


Josh Katzowitz


Posted on Dec 16, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 7:48 am CDT

A new edict from the Donald Trump administration to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prevents the government agency from using seven words when making its budget requests for next year. Those apparently controversial words and phrases, according to the Washington Post?

Vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, transgender, fetus, evidence-based, and science-based.

As the Post reports, a suggestion was made to replace “science-based” or “evidence-based” with the wordy phrase, “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes.” But for pro-choice words like “fetus” or gender-identity words like “transgender,” no replacement words or phrases were offered.

It’s unclear why those words were banned, and the internet is confused—and concerned.

When CDC officials were told of the ban on Thursday, a longtime analyst told the Post that people were “incredulous.” Said the analyst: “It was very much, ‘Are you serious? Are you kidding?’ … In my experience, we’ve never had any pushback from an ideological standpoint.”

Update 9:39am CT, Dec. 18: The head of the CDC, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, tweeted yesterday that reports of the word ban were false.

Fitzgerald was appointed by Trump to head the CDC, and has been there since July.

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*First Published: Dec 16, 2017, 8:27 am CST