Last night, we learned that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, under the control of Trump administration appointees, had banned certain words from appearing in any documents pertaining to the CDC’s annual budget.
Policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta were told of the list of forbidden words at a meeting Thursday with senior CDC officials who oversee the budget, according to an analyst who took part in the 90-minute briefing. The forbidden words are “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”
While some of the words have euphemisms (for no reason whatsoever), consider what that means: When scientists wants to propose research on how the Zika virus affects fetuses, or how they can prevent the spread of HIV among transgender people, they can’t even accurately say what they’re trying to work on.Maybe that’s the point. Maybe the CDC wants to discourage scientists from studying those issues, or pointing to evidence, or helping the vulnerable. Either way, having the government tell researchers they can’t use certain words is something straight out of Nineteen Eighty-Four. It’s Trumpian Newspeak. It’s no different from the EPA scrubbing “climate change” from its website, as if not seeing it makes the problem go away.
And it’s precisely why anyone who cares about evidence and rational thinking should never ever ever cast a vote for a Republican. These are the consequences. Science was on the ballot in 2016, and a large minority of foolish Americans decided it wasn’t worth protecting.
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