FAKE NEWS ALERT: Trump White House Didn’t Ban Words, CDC Director Says


CDC

Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, director of the United States Centers for Disease Control, is disputing a report by The Washington Post that CDC staff were told certain words were banned from use by the White House.


The seven words and phrases were reportedly banned from use in future budget documents, according to the Post story. However, Fitzgerald tweeted a denial, which led to a New York Times report that presented a far different picture.

The Times story is decidedly less provocative, and it now appears the “ban” was likely random chatter in memos or emails among staffers. That has led to calls of “fake news” and charges that the Post purposely overstated the facts in an effort to embarrass the Trump White House.

PBS.org reports.

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The terms are “fetus,” “transgender,” “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “evidence-based” and “science-based,” according to a story first reported on Friday in The Washington Post.

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.

“CDC has a long-standing history of making public health and budget decisions that are based on the best available science and data and for the benefit of all people—and we will continue to do so,” she said.

A group of the agency’s policy analysts said senior officials at the CDC informed them about the banned words on Thursday, according to the Post’s report. In some cases, the analysts were reportedly given replacement phrases to use instead.

But in follow-up reporting, The New York Times cited “a few” CDC officials who suggested the move was not meant as an outright ban, but rather, a technique to help secure Republican approval of the 2019 budget by eliminating certain words and phrases.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the CDC, said the reported decree on banned words was a misrepresentation.

“The assertion that H.H.S. has ‘banned words’ is a complete mischaracterization of discussions regarding the budget formulation process,” Matt Lloyd, an agency spokesman, said in a statement. “H.H.S. will continue to use the best scientific evidence available to improve the health of all Americans. H.H.S. also strongly encourages the use of outcome and evidence data in program evaluations and budget decisions.”

 

Here are some of the tweets by Dr. Fitzgerald.

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