A CDC ban on 'fetus' and 'transgender?' Experts alarmed

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is denying a report that the Trump administration had forbidden the nation's top public health agency from using seven words, including "science-based", in budget discussions.

Policy analysts were told of the list in a 90-minute briefing with senior CDC officials, the Washington Post reported.

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta were allegedly barred from using the terms "vulnerable", "entitlement", "diversity", "transgender", "fetus", "evidence-based" and "science-based" on Thursday, Dec. 14, according to the story by the Washington Post. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) receives budget documents from HHS organizations and 'oversee the president's vision across the Executive Branch.' Neither the OMB nor the HHS have yet responded to MPR's requests for comment.

The list of "forbidden" words and phrases given to policy analysts at the CDC also included "vulnerable", "entitlement", "diversity", "transgender" and "fetus".

The Hill explains the HHS proposal "would remove regulations for religious groups 'in order for these institutions to participate in HHS-funded or regulated programs.'" It's one more brazen attempt by the Trump administration to remove the wall separating church and state. "The move is reminiscent of a time not long ago when the government tried to ignore the reality of the HIV and AIDS crisis to the detriment of millions". They're not words that are banned in the department.

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.

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The guidelines were discussed at a routine meeting about how to present the agency's budget and do not apply to how the CDC conducts and describes its work, Fitzgerald said in a statement sent to NBC News.

CDC's current website includes a "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health" page with photographs of "Gay and Bisexual Men", "Lesbian and Bisexual Women", and "Transgender Persons", suggesting that, if there is an effort underway by the Trump administration to minimize the visibility of LGBT people, it has not yet permeated the agency.

Of course, when they don't publicly post our comments on rules that will potentially jeopardize our health care, it may not make much difference whether we are silent or not.

The Administrative Procedures Act requires federal agencies to seek public comments on new proposed rules, which are then to be posted online.

The Trump administration's budget for the next fiscal year is due to be released in February.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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