The CDC Director Says No Words Are Actually Banned At The CDC

Enlarge  CDC Director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald at the agency's headquarters in Atlanta Georgia on Tuesday

The Post reported that the list of banned terms arose from a 90-minute meeting held Thursday with senior CDC officials who oversee the budget, and that no explanation for the changes was given.

The source in the Washington Post report said budget officials recommended replacing "evidence-based" or "science-based" with the phrase "science in consideration with community norms and standards", which the three groups today called unsafe and misleading. The report said that analysts were, in some cases, given alternate wording for the phrases.

If there's one thing we've learned from the first year of the Trump administration, it's that there's nothing fun about watching your government attempt to erase your existence. Tweets from CDC Director Fitzgerald and comments from a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson do not directly refute news stories indicating the seven words and phrases should be avoided in developing FY 2019 budget documents. From the Department of Justice filing legal briefs in support of anti-LGBTQ businesses to Trump himself fighting his own Defense Department as well as quite a few Federal judges to throw trans people out of the military less than a year after they made it in, it's been a hard year for LGBTQ people just out here trying to live under the current administration.

An unnamed Health and Human Services official also told the health news website Stat that it wasn't accurate to say that CDC staff was prohibited from using the seven words.

The Trump administration has moved to remove regulations on religious groups. And, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality, President Trump appointed a virulently anti-transgender person, Charmaine Yoest, as HHS assistant secretary for public affairs.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State's Alison Tanner tells Politico that if HHS doesn't do an about face and make all 10,729 comments accessible to the public, "there may be grounds" for an Administrative Procedure Act "challenge for whatever rule comes out of the process".

"While HHS received 10,729 comments on its proposal", noted Politico, "the agency has only posted 80 comments - less than 1 percent of all submissions - that overwhelmingly back the administration's anti-abortion policies or attack regulations advanced by the Obama administration, such as a rule forcing health care providers that accept federal funding to provide services to transgender patients".

Americans United for Separation of Church And State have filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the contents of the comments that haven't been made available as yet. The PRIDE Study (Population Research in Identity and Disparities for Equality) seeks to collect health data from individuals through its website over the course of decades.

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