Hello Big Brother: CDC restricts seven words

Under the Trump Administration, the words:  “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based,” are strongly advised not to be used by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for 2019 budget documents.

CDC director Brenda Fitzgerald assures that these words are not banned from use. However, budget analysts were reportedly given alternative phrases to use in replace of the listed words. This was said to be done to gain approval from Republicans on the 2019 budget.

Whether or not the list of words is an outright ban or just a strong suggestion, the list encourages a restrictment of language in our society. It is an example of a higher authority using power to control common language use for their own agenda. While we may not be at an Orwellian societal level just yet, the list of words certainly portrays a dystopian sentiment.

The Trump Administration’s decision to add “evidence-based” and “science-based” to the list of words not only undermines the works of scientists, but it also comments on how the government politicizes science and its validity. In addition, words such as “diversity” and “transgender” should not be omitted from official documents just for the comfort and approval of social conservative supporters. Omitting these words further marginalizes already vulnerable groups in society.

This is not just a list of random words. There is an strong conservative influence on the word selection. Regardless of your opinion on these words, we should be able to agree that the government cannot restrict certain words in society for their benefit. While that is a loose representation of what is happening to the CDC, the fundamental idea is evident. It is not right to cherry pick words that seem “unfit” for official documents.  

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