House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi warned against an attempt at "thought control" by the Trump administration in response to a report that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was told it was forbidden from using seven words in official documents related to the 2019 budget.
"DANGER!", the California Democrat tweeted Saturday in all caps, adding that the administration is "going further down a dangerous and un-American path" by banning such words as "science-based" and "diversity."
DANGER! Trump Admin is going further down a dangerous and un-American path of word and thought control. @POTUS has no respect for and has banned words including:— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) December 16, 2017
A longtime analyst with the public health agency told the Washington Post in a report Friday that senior CDC officials who oversee the agency's budget were told at a meeting in Atlanta on Thursday that they are no longer allowed to use the words: “evidence-based," “science-based," “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” and “fetus."
In the case of “science-based” or “evidence-based,” the analyst said an alternative phrase suggested for use was: “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes." Some of the other words did not get replacements.
Democrats and their allies have decried the report. Planned Parenthood warned that the word ban shows that the Trump administration's “disdain” towards women’s health and the LGBTQ community is “clearer than ever."
The ban relates to official documents pertaining to the 2019 budget blueprint. President Trump's 2019 budget is expected for release in February.
The analyst told the Post that the reaction at the meeting was “incredulous" and indicated that once word of the list reaches the CDC at large, there may be backlash.
Alison Kelly, a senior leader in the agency’s Office of Financial Services, led the 90-minute meeting about the banned words, but the Post's source said Kelly did not have an explanation for their banishment.
Other CDC officials confirmed a list of forbidden words to the Post. Neither the CDC nor the Office of Management and Budget responded to request for comment on the story.
The Health and Human Services Department, of which CDC is a part, later put out a statement pushing back on the report.
"The assertion that HHS has 'banned words' is a complete mischaracterization of discussions regarding the budget formulation process," said HHS spokesman Matt Lloyd.