The Washington Post broke a story on Friday that had the left frothing at the mouth. Someone told them — an “anonymous source,” of course — that the Centers for Disease Control had banned seven words and phrases from being used in grant applications.
It doesn’t matter what the seven words were because, well, they aren’t banned. But as we all know, a lie can make it halfway around the world before the truth is able to get its trousers (or shoes) on.
A sample of headlines:
BuzzFeed: “People Are Horrified That The CDC Has Reportedly Been Banned From Using Some Words”
Common Dreams: “‘Making America Stupid Again’: Outrage Over Forbidden 7 Words You Can’t Say at Trump’s CDC”
HuffPo: “The Muzzling of the CDC: Seven Words Banned by Trump Officials”
Twitter exploded as many automatically assumed the story was true:
Donald, we know your White House operates free of evidence and facts on a daily basis, but banning the use of the term "evidence-based" by your CDC, really? Isn't that a bit on the nose? #CDC7Words
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) December 16, 2017
Evidence-based medicine is the reason we are able to prevent strokes and heart attacks; treat cancers and infections; manage HIV and diabetes. Banning doctors and scientists from using medically-accurate terms is not just politics – it puts lives at risk. #CDC7words
— Natasha Bhuyan, MD (@NatashaBhuyan) December 16, 2017
Just for spite, I am going to write a play entitled "The Science-Based Vulnerable Entitlement of the Transgender Fetus for Evidence-Based Diversity." #BannedWords #CDC7words #cdcbannedwords #theatre #drama #newplay #Resist
— Samuel Yates (@SamuelYates) December 16, 2017
But the only tweet that mattered is the one from the director of the CDC, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald:
I want to assure you there are no banned words at CDC. We will continue to talk about all our important public health programs.
— Dr. Robert R. Redfield (@CDCDirector) December 17, 2017
The WaPo story is sort of vague on the source for this story:
At the CDC, the meeting about the banned words was led by Alison Kelly, a senior leader in the agency’s Office of Financial Services, according to the CDC analyst, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak publicly. Kelly did not say why the words are being banned, according to the analyst, and told the group that she was merely relaying the information. […]
Other CDC officials confirmed the existence of a list of forbidden words. It’s likely that other parts of HHS are operating under the same guidelines regarding the use of these words, the analyst said.
So not only has the director of the CDC denied the story, but HHS has also blown up the Post’s “scoop”:
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is pushing back on a report saying the agency was not allowing the personnel at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to use words like “diversity,” “transgender” and “fetus” in official documents.
“The assertion that HHS has ‘banned words’ is a complete mischaracterization of discussions regarding the budget formulation process,” HHS spokesman Matt Lloyd told The Hill on Saturday.
“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 statement continued.
How ironic is it that the left, which abuses, mutilates, twists, and molds words to suit its own political agenda, would now be objecting to this fictitious banning of words.
Someone in that CDC meeting misunderstood what the conversation was about and ran to the Washington Post thinking they could make the Trump administration look stupid and evil at the same time. They either deliberately exaggerated what was discussed or were so besotted with partisan hatred for the president that they heard what they wanted to hear.
As soon as someone who attended that meeting goes on the record with their name and title to confirm that Alison Kelly is a liar and that the group had been ordered not to use the banned words, I will believe this story.
Until then…yeah, fake news.