Schatz: Republicans need to stand up to Trump over CDC word ban

Schatz: Republicans need to stand up to Trump over CDC word ban
© Greg Nash

Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzAlabama Republican touts provision in infrastructure bill he voted against Telehealth was a godsend during the pandemic; Congress should keep the innovation going Framing our future beyond the climate crisis MORE (D-Hawaii) said Saturday that Republicans have a responsibility to stand up to President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel faces double-edged sword with Alex Jones, Roger Stone Trump goes after Woodward, Costa over China Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves MORE after senior officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reportedly issued a list of banned words and phrases to the agency's policy analysts.

"To distribute a list of banned words to a scientific agency is simply not what we do in the United States of America," Schatz wrote on Twitter. "Every American has to stand up against this. Republicans too, and maybe especially."

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The Washington Post reported Friday that senior CDC officials distributed a list of words and phrases that policy analysts would have to refrain from using in official documents prepared for the 2019 budget.

Among the "forbidden" words and phrases listed are "fetus," "diversity," "transgender," "entitlement," "science-based" and "evidence-based," according to the Post. 

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) pushed back against reports of the list on Saturday, saying that the notion that it had prohibited the use of certain words was "a complete mischaracterization of discussions regarding the budget formulation process."

"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," Matt Lloyd, a spokesman for HHS, said in a statement.