An analyst at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told the Washington Post that they were instructed to no longer use the word “transgender” in official documents.
In a meeting on Thursday led by Alison Kelly from the CDC’s Office of Financial Services, senior CDC officials were instructed not to use “forbidden words” in official documents being prepared for next year’s budget.
The forbidden words were “transgender,” “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “fetus,” “evidence-based,” and “science-based.”
The analyst who leaked the information said that Kelly did not personally favor the gag order but said that the White House had repeatedly marked certain words for “correction” in CDC draft budgets. She was informed verbally about other words.
In some cases, they were given alternatives. Instead of “science-based” or “evidence-based” – terms that say that a program or technique is evaluated with testable data and not personal biases – analysts were told to write, “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes.”
No replacement was suggested for “transgender,” which implies that the Trump Administration is trying to block CDC programs that address health issues among transgender people.
The analyst who leaked the information said that the gag order is unprecedented.
“In my experience, we’ve never had any push back from an ideological standpoint,” they said.
The existence of a list of forbidden words was confirmed by several other CDC officials who also wished to remain anonymous.
The CDC is a federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services that works to prevent the spread of disease, especially infectious diseases. Some of their work relates to HIV/AIDS.