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Democrats demands to know why Trump has banned the word ‘transgender’ for CDC

Joseph McCormick December 19, 2017
Human rights

Anti-Trump protesters in New York (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Two senior Democrats have called on President Trump to answer why the CDC and other health agencies have been apparently banned from using words like “transgender” and “science-based”.

Senator Patty Murray and Representative Frank Pallone Jr have written a joint letter to Trump asking about reports that the CDC and other un-named health agencies have been banned from using seven words.

According to reports, President Trump last week banned the CDC from using words like “transgender” and “foetus” in official documents.

The Trump administration banned the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) from using words like “science-based”.

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 13: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about tax reform in the Cross Hall at the White House on December 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. House and Senate Republicans are working on a tentative deal on tax reform that will overhaul the U.S. tax system. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
(Getty)

At least two other government health agencies have been banned by the Trump administration from using words like “transgender” and “foetus”, according to the reports.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has said it is worried by reports that it is being banned from using words like ‘transgender’ and ‘diversity’.

“The prohibition has the potential to freeze scientific advancement at the agency and across the Department,” reads the letter from Murray and Pallone.

“The Department’s leaders cannot both uphold a commitment to prioritizing science over politics and ideology and support prohibiting the use of key words and phrases that are central to the broader health mission of the Department,” the letter continues.

“We are incredibly concerned by this unconscionable restriction on agency communications and the message this sends regarding the critical health and scientific work of the Department,” the politicians continue.

The CDC has said it is alarmed by reports that it is banned from using the seven words.

One member of the CDC, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the Guardian that she was not aware that the words had been banned.

She said that a meeting on Saturday had suggested that the briefing was given as “feedback”.

CDC director Dr Brenda Fitzgerald referred to reports and wrote an email on Saturday saying: “I want to assure you that CDC remains committed to our public health mission as a science- and evidence-based institution.

“As part of our commitment to provide for the common defense of the country against health threats, science is and will remain the foundation of our work.”

Two other unnamed staffers asked not to be identified and not to identify the agencies they work for.

They also said that they had been told to only refer to the Affordable Care Act as ObamaCare.

A Health and Human Services spokesperson Matt Lloyd slammed the idea that the department would not use the words.

“The assertion that HHS has ‘banned words’ is a complete mischaracterization of discussions regarding the budget formulation process,” said Lloyd.

“HHS will continue to use the best scientific evidence available to improve the health of all Americans. HHS also strongly encourages the use of outcome and evidence data in program evaluations and budget decisions.”

The CDC informed policy analysts of the ban during a meeting on Thursday which went on for 90-minutes, according to the Washington Post.

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 13: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about tax reform in the Cross Hall at the White House on December 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. House and Senate Republicans are working on a tentative deal on tax reform that will overhaul the U.S. tax system. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
(Getty)

As well as the word transgender, other banned words include “vulnerable”, “entitlement”, and “diversity”.

The words are banned for official documents for the 2019 budget which will be released in February.

The agency has been told not to use “science-based” or “evidence-based”, and instead are told to use phrases like: “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes”.

According to an analyst who was at the meeting in Atlanta, other branches of the health department are likely being asked to avoid the banned words.

“It was very much, ‘Are you serious? Are you kidding?’” he said.

“In my experience, we’ve never had any pushback from an ideological standpoint,” he added.

The analyst who was not named by the Post, said he expected a backlash against the ban.

He said the ban on certain words had not been given to wider groups of scientists at the CDC.

“Our subject matter experts will not lay down quietly — this hasn’t trickled down to them yet.”

Trump earlier this week withdrew his nominations of two anti-LGBT judges – one of whom said same-sex marriage would lead to people marrying trees and their pets.

Jeff Mateer and Brett Talley, who have both condemned equal marriage, were nominated for federal judgeships in Texas and Alabama respectively.

But a White House official has said the administration has withdrawn its nominations for the pair, according to Politico.

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 13: U.S. President Donald Trump listens to a group of families, Young Republicans and  College Republicans at the White House on December 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. House and Senate Republicans are working on a tentative deal on tax reform that will overhaul the U.S. tax system. (Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)
Donald Trump, in front of a tree (Getty)

Yesterday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley recommended that the White House should “reconsider” its selection of Mateer and “not proceed” with Talley’s.

The official, who did not want to be named, said Talley, 36, who has never tried a case and has been deemed “not qualified” by the American Bar Association, had taken himself out of the running.

(Facebook/brett talley)

“He has offered to withdraw his nomination, thus it will not be moving forward,” they said.

Talley has told The Washington Post that he opposes same-sex marriage.

(Facebook/brett talley)

The official added simply that Mateer’s nomination “will not be moving forward.”

This was after it was revealed that Mateer, the first assistant attorney general of Texas, had said that trans children were part of “Satan’s plan.”

He has also told crowds that same-sex marriage would lead to polygamy and bestiality, and expressed his opposition to same-sex adoption.

In a speech called “The Church and Homosexuality,” made in 2015 after same-sex marriage became legal across the US, Mateer said: “There are people who marry themselves.

(YouTube/DNA Electronics) jeff mateer
(YouTube/DNA Electronics)

“Somebody wanted to marry a tree. People marrying their pets.

“You read the New Testament and you read about all the things and you think, ‘Oh, that’s not going on in our community.’

(YouTube/DNA Electronics) jeff mateer
(YouTube/DNA Electronics)

“Oh, yes it is. We’re back to that time where debauchery rules.”

However, Steve Grasz was confirmed for the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday, despite comparing gay people to paedophiles and opposing same-sex adoption.

jeff mateer
(YouTube/DNA Electronics)

Grasz served on the board of a nonprofit which backed LGBT conversion therapy on minors.

He has since refused to clarify his own views on the harmful practice.

More: alabama, Brett Talley, Chuck Grassley, Donald Trump, jeff mateer, judges, judiciary, Politics, president donald trump, same sex marriage, same-sex adoption, Texas, Trump, US, US

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