Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the very agency tasked with saving and protecting the lives of the most vulnerable, are now under order by the Trump administration to stop using words including "vulnerable" in 2018 budget documents, according to The Washington Post.
The Post story, published the evening of Dec 15, was based on a report from an unnamed policy analyst at the CDC who took part in a meeting with the agency's budget officials the day before.
The source in the Washington Post report said budget officials recommended replacing "evidence-based" or "science-based" with the phrase "science in consideration with community norms and standards", which the three groups today called risky and misleading. At that meeting, the agency learned of words prohibited for use in the CDC's budget proposal to be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget, which decides what to include in the president's 2019 budget.
"I want to assure you there are no banned words at CDC".
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But Fitzgerald said in a series of tweets on Sunday said there are "no banned words", while emphasizing the agency's commitment to data-driven science.
Other groups pointed out the larger Trump administration pattern of LGBTQ erasure that we noted at the top of this article. It announced it would no longer interpret the Affordable Care Act to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity.
The opening statement on that website asserts, "The perspectives and needs of LGBT people should be routinely considered in public health efforts to improve the overall health of every person and eliminate health disparities".
So far though, it's made fewer than 100 of those submissions public, sparking frustration from critics who say the agency is hand-picking comments that support the Trump administration's agenda.
Politico said HHS officials said they are not required to release all the comments because the comments were responding to a "request for information" and not a proposed rule change. "Science is and will remain the foundation of our work", Fitzgerald said. The PRIDE Study (Population Research in Identity and Disparities for Equality) seeks to collect health data from individuals through its website over the course of decades.