- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was reportedly told not to use seven specific words and phrases in its federal budget-proposal documents.
- Materials with the words, “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” and “diversity” were returned to the agency for “correction,” according to a senior staffer at the CDC’s Office of Financial Services.
- Bans on the words and phrases “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based,” and “science-based” were communicated “verbally,” according to the staffer.
- The Trump administration has sought to change how it communicates about issues it views primarily through an ideological lens, including matters related to LGBTQ people and climate change.
- The allegedly banned words were roundly criticized on social media Friday night.
The words “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” and “diversity” were among seven terms and phrases reportedly banned from use in some official documents at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Documents related to federal budget proposals that contained those words were sent back to the agency for “correction,” according to the CDC’s Alison Kelly. She told The Washington Post that four other banned words and phrases – “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based,” and “science-based” – were communicated verbally.
Policy analysts at the agency were given those instructions during a meeting on Thursday, The Post said, citing people who were there.
The CDC, along with other federal agencies, submits its budget proposals to the Office of Management and Budget. The OMB has jurisdiction over the proposals, but it was not immediately clear whether anyone at the OMB had specifically requested that those words and phrases be banned. The OMB did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment Friday night.
The Trump administration in its early days quickly scrubbed information related to LGBTQ people from the Health and Human Services website, and the Associated Press reported in March that the US Census Bureau would not include a category for LGBTQ people in its proposal for the 2020 census.
And just days after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, Reuters reported that his administration told the Environmental Protection Agency to remove mentions of climate change from its website. Trump has previously made clear his personal doubts about climate change, at points insisting it’s an “expensive hoax.” The president’s views on the matter helped inform his decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement on climate change in June.
Since taking office, the Trump administration has not been coy about its ideologically conservative principles, or its intention to govern accordingly. Observers reacted to the allegedly banned words on social media Friday night, calling the reported directive “Orwellian” and “dangerous.” Dictionary.com capitalized on the moment by defining the word, “vulnerable” on Twitter.
“Also vulnerable: Language,” it said.