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Are These Words Forbidden at the CDC?

Jan 02, 2018

The situation was of great concern to medical organizations, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), whose president, Dr. Haywood L. Brown wrote:

As women's health care providers devoted to maternal and fetal health, our members rely on these words to ensure precision, reasoning and credibility in the provision of care. These reported word restrictions only serve to imperil the CDC’s valued position as a trusted partner in addressing the serious issues facing America’s public health.

On December 17th, the CDC posted the following message from director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald on its Facebook page:

I want to assure you there are no banned words at CDC. We will continue to talk about all our important public health programs.

You may be understandably concerned about recent media reports alleging that CDC is banned from using certain words in budget documents. I want to assure you that CDC remains committed to our public health mission as a science- and evidence-based institution.

As part of our commitment to provide for the common defense of the country against health threats, science is and will remain the foundation of our work.

CDC has a long-standing history of making public health and budget decisions that are based on the best available science and data and for the benefit of all people—and we will continue to do so.

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