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Return to 1984 Censorship?


Michael Oberdorfer
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Michael Oberdorfer

The Washington Post reports that the Trump administration is prohibiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from using a list of seven words or terms in any documents being prepared for next year’s budget request.

The words/terms include: vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, transgender, fetus, evidence-based and science-based.

CDC’s website states: “CDC conducts critical science and provides health information that protects our nation against expensive and dangerous health threats, and responds when these arise.

Reaction by the public community to the Post story was swift according to the Associated Press, because it could impact on public health research and policy in all fields of biological science and medicine.

The reactions of some, like Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley (D), have compared the policy statement to something out of Orwell’s 1984.

What do you think?

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Michael Oberdorfer

I don’t know if it’s legal. I view it as an abuse of power. The question is, where will it stop? When someone doesn’t like evidence-based or science-based research funded by NSF, NIH, USDA, NIST, etc? Ask the folks at NOAA about the consequences of supporting and reporting on evidence-based or science-based research and climate change.

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OMG!! Is that news for REAL! I have trouble to believe it! If it is true I find it outrageous and extremely dangerous! So irresponsible! A very sad exercise of hand-in-hand ignorance and arrogance…

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Michael Oberdorfer

Unfortunately, It is real. Government policy changes under the current administration have gone largely unnoticed unless leaked to the press like this one.
If The Washington Post had not found out about and reported on this censorship, we wouldn’t know.
That’s why silence is dangerous. Maybe professional societies should weigh in as they did on the impact of the immigration ban on the travel of foreign scientists, fellows, etc. to U.S. labs.

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