Trump administration bans words at CDC, replacing science with ideology


War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

In a bizarre and almost surreal move lifted from the pages of George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984,” the Trump administration has banned public officials from the Center for Disease Control from using seven words or phrases, including “fetus,” “transgender,” “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “evidence-based” and “science-based” in any official documents related to next year’s budget.

According to the Washington Post, analysts at the agency were given alternatives to use. Rather than “science based” or “evidence based,” the administration suggested that the agency use the phrase, “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes.”

The whitewashing will pose some serious problems for CDC, which is responsible for working with issues that directly relate to some of the banned words. The National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention’s task is to work on ways to prevent HIV in transgender people, for example. CDC also works with birth defects caused by the Zika virus, and part of that includes research on developing fetuses.

The mandate, which was released at a meeting of policy analysts at the CDC on Thursday this week, was met with shock. According to an unnamed analyst at the meeting, as reported by the Post story, the response was: “Are you serious? Are you kidding?”

Social media responses have been swift in condemning the move, with an active Reddit post and the Twittersphere expressing outrage and shock over the censorship aspect of the report.

The backlash from the scientific community will be significant in the coming days. Already, the move has been slammed by health experts and advocates. This administration has a history of not acknowledging science-based findings such as those relating to climate change, another phrase that has disappeared from government websites. The move is another step towards replacing hard science and research, with political ideology.