Ever since Donald Trump took office, certain language has been quietly removed from the websites, surveys, and documentation for numerous government websites. Mentions of climate change and LGBTQ Americans, for example, vanished from WhiteHouse.gov just after the Inauguration. Now there’s about to be another disappearing act. President Trump has ordered the Center for Disease Control to stop using seven words that aren’t in line with the Trump administration’s agenda.
The CDC is no longer allowed to use the terms “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” or “science-based.” An anonymous policy analyst spoke to the Washington Post following a briefing on the new language guidelines. The recommended workarounds to avoid the taboo terms get strenuously long-winded. Instead of “science-based,” for example, one might write that the “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes.”
That’s a tall order for an organization that “conducts critical science and provides health information,” according to the CDC mission statement. How is one to write, for example, a study on HIV prevention in transgender populations or the potential impact of Zika on a fetus without crucial nouns and adjectives? It’s certainly not the first time Trump has shown himself to be anti-science. FDA scientists, for example, haven’t been able to set effective standards since Trump took office.
Indeed, even the chief science envoy found the Trump administration so hostile to his work that he quit, and called on Trump’s impeachment with a secret code in his resignation letter. The new CDC language limitations, however, are especially ominous. At best this is a wild inconvenience piggybacked on the CDC’s new budget. At worst, it’s actual erasure, not only Obama-era advances but of vulnerable, diverse groups.
(Via: the Washington Post)