Trump Administration Moves to Censor Truth and Science

The Trump administration has banned multiple divisions within the Department of Health and Human Services including the Centers for Disease Control from using certain words or phrases in official documents being drafted for next year’s budget. The banned words are “Vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”

Rush Holt, chief executive of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, said: “Among the words forbidden to be used in CDC budget documents are ‘evidence-based’ and ‘science-based.’ I suppose one must not think those things either. Here’s a word that’s still allowed: ridiculous.”

“To pretend and insist that transgender people do not exist, and to allow this lie to infect public health research and prevention is irrational and very dangerous, and not just to transgender people,” Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality told the Washington Post.

David Stacy, the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) director of Government Affairs said HRC would fight the ban,  “The Trump-Pence administration’s effort to eliminate entire communities from its vocabulary is a dangerous attack on LGBTQ people, women, and fact-based policy making. 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. This kind of erasure has potentially catastrophic consequences beyond the words used by the CDC — it could impact the very programs most vital to the health of women, transgender people, and others. But we will not be erased. The Human Rights Campaign will fight this and other politically-motivated policies, and this decision will ultimately backfire on the Trump-Pence administration.”

Shin Inouye, director of communications and media relations of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on news of the ban,

“President Trump and his administration have launched the latest salvo in their all-out war on truth and science. This latest tactic could be taken from a George Orwell novel, or taken by an oppressive authoritarian regime. Banning the use of words like transgender, science-based, and diversity will only harm the public health as the CDC carries out its important mission.

“We applaud the journalists who have brought this latest abuse to light. Trump may decry these stories as fake, but these reports show the continuing disdain of this administration to facts. The public relies on our government to provide accurate information, and these steps undermine that important trust.”

Earlier this month, The Leadership Conference Education Fund issued a paper, Misinformation Nation: The Threat to America’s Federal Data and Civil Rights, which highlights the importance of data and the present threats to civil rights-related data collection.