Trump ‘Forgot’ To Provide Alternatives Words For The CDC To Use In Official Budget Documents — So We Did It For Him

We Created This List Of Alternatives The CDC Can Use To Replace Trump's List Of Forbidden Words
Buzz

There, FTFY.

Word on the street is that last week, President Donald Trump's administration handed someone over at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) a list of words banned from use in official documents related to next year's budget.

According to a report in the Washington Post, this information was relayed verbally to "CDC officials who oversee the budget, according to an analyst who took part in the 90-minute briefing. The forbidden words are 'vulnerable,' 'entitlement,' 'diversity,' 'transgender,' 'fetus,' 'evidence-based' and 'science-based.' In some instances, the analysts were given alternative phrases. Instead of 'science-based' or 'evidence-based,' the suggested phrase is 'CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes,' the person said. In other cases, no replacement words were immediately offered."

 

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If you felt your dead grandfather roll over in his grave muttering about dictators and how he didn't risk his life overseas fighting tyranny so that American scientists could have their freedom of speech denied, you are 100 percent not alone.

While the analysts who came forward anonymously with this information stated that they were not given any explanation for these limitations, reading between the lines shouldn't be particularly difficult here. 

The Washington Post continued:

"The ban is related to the budget and supporting materials that are to be given to the CDC’s partners and to Congress, the analyst said. The president’s budget for 2019 is expected to be released in early February. The budget blueprint is generally shaped to reflect an administration’s priorities. Federal agencies are sending in their budget proposals to the Office of Management and Budget, which has authority about what is included."

It would be difficult to budget for any services, programs, aid, or research intended to involve populations or conditions you are forbidden to name and/or based on reasoning you cannot mention, no?

Following the leak of this information to the press, CDC director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, post a detailed thread on Twitter to ease the public's mind. 

"I want to assure you there are no banned words at CDC. We will continue to talk about all our important public health programs. You may be understandably concerned about recent media reports alleging that CDC is banned from using certain words in budget documents. 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. 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.​"

The problem with Dr. Fitzgerald's statement is that, while she states that these words have not been banned "at CDC," she never denies the claim that these words may not be used in any official budget documents.

 

All we can surmise is that perhaps those who came up with this idea are under the impression that if you remove a word from someone's vocabulary, you can effectively erase the existence of the thing itself. But here's what they may have missed: words do not work that way. 

 

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Because the Trump administration seems to have forgotten to offer the CDC replacement words they can use as an alternates for those that were forbidden, I thought I would step in with some ideas of my own that I can only image everyone will agree on.

I'm a writer, after all. A peace-maker. And above all else, a proud American. This isn't just my duty, it's my right. 

Without further ado, here are my suggested alternatives to replace the list of seven words CDC analysts are forbidden to use in official budget documents.

1. Instead of diversity...

Instead of using the word diversity (which clearly must not be necessary because this is American dangnabit and we are all exactly the same in every way, or at least, we should all be striving to be), I suggest the CDC use either the word "assortment" or perhaps, even, "mélange."

Picturing a mouth-watering box of chocolates will surely make the whole concept of people who aren't all exactly the same as each other far more palatable for the White House, no?

 

2. Instead of fetus...

Sure, it's tempting to simply stop discussing what goes on inside of a woman's oven-belly entirely — FYI, I preemptively coined that one for when "uterus" is inevitability banned in the future — but since women seem to enjoy their right to health services just like men do, let's just go with "perinatal growth" for now.

Of course, if that doesn't suit you, "coital reminder"  is also acceptable. 

 

3. Instead of transgender...

The Trump administration has been called out for being racist, bigoted, and generally insensitive to the reality that people other than straight, white, cisgender men and women also exist on this planet, so it really should be no wonder that they banned this one.

Don't worry, CDC, you can call 'em your "non-cis homies." We'll totally get the drift.

 

4. Instead of vulnerable...

Instead of clearly stating which demographic populations are more likely to be at risk of contracting, developing, or dying from for specific health conditions, the Trump administration seems to feel the CDC should level the playing field a bit. Who needs things like statistic driven prevention and aid initiatives. Hogwash!

Don't worry y'all, I've got this one too. Instead of labeling at-risk populations vulnerable, let's just note them all as "whoopsie prone." 

 

5. Instead of entitlement...

Somebody's getting a little hot under the collar about being called out for their privilege, methinks.

Thus, the seem to have completely missed the fact that this word is commonly used when discussing American citizens' right to health care. Hence, Medicaid and Medicare are categorized as federal entitlement programs.

But since the CDC can't use this one either, let's just go with "basics," as in all of those basic human rights. They've got to find that acceptable, right?

 

6. Instead of science-based...

Science! Boo! Hiss! Kill it with fire! Why would anyone even believe in that stuff anyway? Oh... because it is actually what we use to prove stuff. Sorry, I forgot. You know, kind of like the White House did.

Instead of using the phrase "science-based," it seems more than reasonably appropriate for CDC analysts to instead use term "scientist-approved."

 

7. Instead of evidence-based...

Oh suuuuure, those fancy scientists, with their notebooks and their microscopes, recording data, coming up with numbers to give definitive facts. Who do they think they are, scientists or something?!

Rather than talk about something being "evidence-based," let's just say it's been "proven by evidence." No one but a scientist will ever know the difference.

So, Trump, we cool now?

 

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a sex, humor and lifestyle writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cat, Batman. She hosts the sex, love, and dating advice show, Becca After Dark on YourTango's Facebook Page every Tuesday and Thursday at 10:15 pm Eastern. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr.

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