Dem senator compares CDC word ban to '1984'

Dem senator compares CDC word ban to '1984'
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Oregon Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyMerkley seeking to change Oregon law so he can run for president and Senate in 2020: report ICE has record number of people in custody: report Schumer’s headaches to multiply in next Congress MORE (D) blasted reports that the Trump administration supplied the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with a list of prohibited words, comparing it to George Orwell's dystopian novel "1984."

Merkley responded to a Washington Post report Saturday that said the Trump administration had banned the CDC from using the terms “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based" in official documents prepared for next year's budget.

"Banned words in Trump’s America apparently include 'evidence-based,' 'transgender,' and 'vulnerable.' Are you kidding me?!?!" Merkley tweeted, along with a picture depicting the book's cover.

The Post report also claimed that one official at the CDC said that other segments of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) were likely operating under the guidelines as well.

“It was very much, ‘Are you serious? Are you kidding?’ ” the official told the newspaper, “In my experience, we’ve never had any pushback from an ideological standpoint.”

HHS called the Post's report of "banned words" a "mischaracterization" of the agency's budget discussions.

"The assertion that HHS has 'banned words' is a complete mischaracterization of discussions regarding the budget formulation process," HHS spokesman Matt Lloyd said Saturday.