Oregon Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleySenate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo Lawmakers call on Olympic committee to press China on human rights abuses Senate Democrats call on Biden to push for COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers at WTO 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.