The mainstream media loves an opportunity to be outraged at United States President Donald Trump. They believed they have found further evidence of how nasty and bigoted he is with a report in the Washington Post claiming that the Trump Administration had banned seven words from being used at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC is part of the Department of Health and Human Services whose purpose is protect public health implement strategies for disease prevention. The seven words apparently banned are:
The ban was spelled out at a meeting of CDC officials by Alison Kelly who is a senior leader in the agency’s Office of Financial Resources. The word ban was relayed to the Washington Post by unnamed sources at the CDC.
The headline in the Washington Post article leads the reader to believe that these words are banned completely from all CDC documents. However, the alleged ban was only related to budget documents and supporting materials that are to be given to the CDC’s partners and to Congress when it considers the federal budget.
The rest of the Washington Post article lists how senior scientists are shocked by the word ban and how it could jeopardise the important work the CDC does in health prevention. The has dominated media discussions of the past few days.
Democrat politicians have expressed their dismay, there have been accusations this is Orwellian double speak. CNN published multiple op-ed pieces decrying President Trump’s attack on science that it is part of Trump’s subtle operation to remake the public service in his image.
But the whole word ban turned out to be fake news. The Department of Health and Human Services released a statement denying the word ban ‘The assertion that HHS has ‘banned words’ is a complete mischaracterization of discussions regarding the budget formulation process’.
The Director of the CDC Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald sent out a tweet denying the word ban.
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 Brenda Fitzgerald (@CDCDirector) December 17, 2017
Fitzgerald also responded to fact checking website Snopes said that allegation that a word ban was being implemented occurred as a result of a staff communication ‘I understand that confusion arose from a staff-level discussion at a routine meeting about how to present CDC’s budget. It was never intended as overall guidance for how we describe and conduct CDC’s work.’
But as we have seen with the fake Russia-Trump collusion conspiracy the mainstream media and left in the United States never let the facts get in the way of a good Trump bashing story. These seven words that were alleged to be banned were at most just suggestions to avoid using the terms only on budget documents.
Plus, the direction not to use these words did not come from the Trump Administration itself but emerged from internal CDC discussions and were suggested by bureaucrats who were not Trump administration appointments.
But of course, once stories like this take off in the mainstream media it is hard to get a rational discussion of the facts let alone get the media to offer a correction. But thankfully in this age more citizens are sceptical of the mainstream media and so fake news such as this is quickly fact checked and errors and deliberate untruths are exposed.