U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald on Sunday addressed a report that President Donald Trump's administration had banned the CDC from using seven words or phrases in next year's budget documents.
The initial report was published in the Washington Postand cited an anonymous policy analyst who said the ban was discussed during a budget-related meeting.
Sen. Schatz notes that according to reports, words to avoid in official budget documents at the CDC include "vulnerable", "entitlement", "diversity", "transgender", "fetus", "evidence-based" and "science-based".
Analysts were allegedly given alternative wordings that they were encouraged to use, in some cases.
I today learned that the Trump Administration has imposed censorship on the Centers for Disease Control. "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".
After the report broke Friday, CDC officials vehemently denied having a banned words list.
Another agency under the Department of Health and Human Services were likewise reportedly given guidelines regarding their use of certain words or phrases.
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.
And the Trump administration has been systematically eliminating LGBT people from federal concerns. While those posted are all in favor of the proposal, Politico reported that the comments criticizing the HHS' abortion and transgender policy have been withheld, adding to a lack of transparency within the Trump administration that could lead to legal challenges.
Under the Administrative Procedures Act, federal agencies are required to solicit public comments on proposed rules.
The way HHS is handling the public comments is bringing about questions of legality. The department did not immediately return Politico's request for comment. "This is part of a disturbing pattern across the Trump-Pence Administration of refusing to even study the unique healthcare and other needs of LGBTQ people, jeopardizing science-based assessment of heath disparities and undermining access to programs and services that are vital to the health and well-being of LGBTQ people", said Human Rights Campaign's Director of Government Affairs, David Stacy.
Meanwhile, a team of researchers at the University of California-San Francisco launched a national long-term study in June of this year to independently gather health data from individual LGBT participants.