As List Of Banned Words Sparks Firestorm, HHS Reiterates Support Of ‘Best Scientific Evidence’
The Trump administration informed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies that they could not use certain terms such as "science-based" and "fetus" during the upcoming budget process, according to a news report. Department of Health and Human Services officials push back on the characterization of the list.
The Washington Post:
Words Banned At Multiple HHS Agencies Include ‘Diversity’ And ‘Vulnerable’
The Trump administration has informed multiple divisions within the Department of Health and Human Services that they should avoid using certain words or phrases in official documents being drafted for next year’s budget. Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is part of HHS, were given a list of seven prohibited words or phrases during a meeting Thursday with senior CDC officials who oversee the budget. The words to avoid: “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.” (Sun and Eilperin, 12/16)
The New York Times:
Uproar Over Purported Ban At C.D.C. Of Words Like ‘Fetus’
The Department of Health and Human Services tried to play down on Saturday a report that officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had been barred from using seven words or phrases, including “science-based,” “fetus,” “transgender” and “vulnerable,” in agency budget documents. “The assertion that H.H.S. has ‘banned words’ is a complete mischaracterization of discussions regarding the budget formulation process,” an agency spokesman, Matt Lloyd, said in an email. “H.H.S. will continue to use the best scientific evidence available to improve the health of all Americans. H.H.S. also strongly encourages the use of outcome and evidence data in program evaluations and budget decisions.” (Kaplan and McNeil, 12/16)
HHS Pushes Back On Report It's Blocking CDC From Using Certain Words
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is pushing back on a report saying the agency was not allowing the personnel at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to use words like "diversity," "transgender" and "fetus" in official documents. "The assertion that HHS has 'banned words' is a complete mischaracterization of discussions regarding the budget formulation process," HHS spokesman Matt Lloyd told The Hill on Saturday. (Manchester, 12/16)
After Report On CDC's Forbidden Words Draws Outrage, HHS Pushes Back
A spokesman for the Health and Human Services Department said Saturday the agency remains committed to the use of outcomes data and scientific evidence in its decisions, pushing back on the characterization of a Washington Post report that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now banned from using words like “science-based” and “transgender” in budget documents. The spokesman, Matt Lloyd, didn’t respond to follow-up questions about whether the policy might apply more broadly, now or in the future, to other HHS agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration or the National Institutes of Health. (Mershon, 12/16)
CDC Chief To Staff 'No Banned Words,' Does Not Refute Report
The new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reached out to alarmed agency staff over the weekend to tamp down fears incited by a report that the Trump administration has banned the CDC from using words like “fetus,” “evidence-based,” and “diversity” in its budget submissions. Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, who has led the agency since July, sent an all-hands email to the agency’s staff assuring them that the CDC is committed to its mission as a science- and evidence-based institution. She later posted it on Twitter. (Branswell, 12/17)
Words Banned At CDC Were Also Banned At Other HHS Agencies: Report
Multiple agencies in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have reportedly been told by the Trump administration that they cannot use certain phrases in official documents. Officials from two HHS agencies, who asked that their names and agencies remain anonymous, told The Washington Post that they had been given a list of "forbidden" words similar to the one given to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (Seipel, 12/16).