Donald Trump is tearing down our democracy one word at a time. He calls out the “fake news,” the FBI is “tainted” and in “tatters,” and the Democrats are his “enemies.” Yet, his word polices’ new list of seven forbidden words is chilling.
This is the time of the year that the government agencies submit their budgets for the coming years. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is one of the most important agencies in the country. It is the place that prevents pandemics from entering and sweeping our country with death.
The CDC is also responsible for working toward cures for the terrible diseases of cancer, heart disease, and many others. Its responsibilities also include bioterrorism, mass casualties, caring for children in disasters, and environmental health. Those are just a few of the ways the nation’s top disease control agency protects us.
One important example is, as The Washington Post reports:
‘The CDC’s work on birth defects caused by the Zika virus includes research on the developing fetus.’
Then, along came Trump. When the CDC submitted its budget, the administration kicked it back for using several forbidden words. That was the first time people realized that our national government was telling us what words we can use and what words we cannot, according to the Washington Post.
They are: “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based,” and “science-based.”
One budget analyst at the meeting to announce the seven forbidden words said people were “incredulous, the Washington Post reported:
‘It was very much, “Are you serious? Are you kidding?” In my experience, we’ve never had any pushback from an ideological standpoint.’
In some cases, Trump’s word police gave the CDC’s analysts alternative phrases, and in other instances they gave them no alternative. Instead of “science-based” and “evidence-based,” they said to use:
‘CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes.’
The CDC falls under the umbrella of Health and Human Services (HHS). That department plus Justice, Education, and Housing and Urban Development changed the way they collect information about many Americans. This included “lesbian, gay, bisexuals, and transgender” people.
After Trump’s people eradicated these important seven words from the CDC’s budget, it will then go to the Office of Management and Budget. Trump will most likely release his 2019 budget in early February.
The analyst expects a backlash after the agency’s scientists find out about the seven forbidden words and said:
‘Our subject matter experts will not lay down quietly — this hasn’t trickled down to them yet.’
Senior leader in CDC’s Office of Financial Services, Alison Kelly, did not tell the staff why Trump banned these words. She said that she was just the messenger. Kelly told the analysts that Trump’s people returned the budget flagging “certain words.” The three words that first came to their attention were “vulnerable,” “entitlement” and “diversity.”
The CDC is a huge agency with over 12,000 employees working here and in many other countries. Its budget is around $7 billion. Normally, the agency has secure bipartisan support.
Featured Image via Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla.