Banned words prevent progress

Freedom of speech within the Executive Branch is necessary to protect the health of all Americans.


CDC Global, via Flickr, creative commons

Admiral Tim Ziemer speaks at CDC global.

The Trump Administration attempted to ban seven words from CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) budget proposals: diversity, fetus, transgender, vulnerable, entitlement, science-based, and evidence-based. An agency that collects scientific evidence to save vulnerable lives is now being encouraged to diverge from science and the issues that we face today. The President who lambasted political-correctness restricts words that weaken his political agenda.
Under the Obama Administration, departments publicly tackled issues facing America no matter how controversial; by doing so, the CDC, along with the Department of Education and Housing and Urban Development, made significant progress in researching the LGBTQ community.

When President Trump took office, however, the White House website took down the LGBT page. Now, Trump further neglects transgender and diversity issues by attempting to ban the words “transgender” and “diversity” within Executive Branch budgets. Sexual orientation is becoming more public and diverse. It has been clear that the Trump Administration doesn’t quite recognize this new norm. But, that doesn’t mean we can ignore the issue. According to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, transgender people are at a much higher risk of cancer and liver damage due to the transition and hormone transformation. Additionally, the CDC has reported that 20% of gay men are HIV-positive. The CDC needs the power to research all health problems—regardless of sexual orientation. The President should not extend his powers to undermine health problems minority groups face.

The President should not extend his powers to undermine health problems minority groups face.”

— Alex Kang

Among the list is the word “fetus.” The White House’s intent is unclear even though most assume its reference to abortion. But one thing is clear: if the word fetus is banned, there will be other health problems that can’t be reported on. For example, the CDC is currently investigating Zika virus’ impact on fetuses. This reckless word ban goes beyond his political agenda; it’s slowing down the medical development people are in need of.

For decades, science has revolutionized human lives; life expectancy increased by nearly 30 years. Fatal disease, like smallpox are now eradicated. Doctors can detect symptoms and prescribe you with the right medicine because of the evidence they’ve accumulated over the years. Trump, however, has prioritized his religious beliefs before science according to the GOP platform. Unfortunately, just like any other disease science has cured, the incurable illnesses like cancer will not be cured by prayers alone; with scientific research and its substantial database, agencies like CDC can eradicate fatal diseases. By prioritizing his own religious beliefs, President Trump is delaying scientific progress people today desperately need.

This recent action by the White House has hit a new low for the Trump Administration. By disrupting a disease prevention agency, they are delaying the scientific improvement that could save millions of lives and are ignoring the issues that are researched today.

Trump should not restrict the CDC from fulfilling its duties. People’s health should not be political. The CDC should be given the full freedom to research the illnesses and make scientific strides towards the future.