At a meeting last Thursday with the CDC’s senior officials, the agency’s policy analysts were given a list of prohibited terms. According to the Washington Post, these terms include “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.” In some cases, alternative phrases and words were suggested. Similarly, other agencies under the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) have reported that they were given a similar list of banned words.
In response to the news, Matt Lloyd, a spokesperson for the HHS, stated that the CDC “will continue to use the best scientific evidence available to improve the health of all Americans.”
However, this ban has angered those in the scientific community as they fear the ban’s broader impact. Many experts have expressed their concern, criticizing the Trump Administration as this censorship can prevent many agencies from doing their job and informing their audiences.
“The purpose of science is to search for truth, and when science is censored the truth is censored.” —Dr. Vivek Murthy, a former Surgeon General.
Meanwhile, social media users have started the hashtag #CDC7words to criticize the Trump Administration. Many called this an attack on free speech because it can be used not only as a mean of censorship but also as a way to fight against abortion and transgender rights.
Twitter users have even compared this ban to the famous dystopian novel written by George Orwell: 1984. Many described this action as a step forward towards an Orwellian future in which a free and open society is destroyed under the rule of a totalitarian government.