The CDC’s Silence Will Harm Trans People
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Pledge to the American People states that the Centers will “base all public health decisions on the highest quality scientific data that is derived openly and objectively” and “treat all persons with dignity, honesty, and respect.”
Late Friday, the Washington Post broke the news that contrary to these commitments, the CDC has banned the word “transgender” — as well as the words “science-based,” “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “fetus,” and “evidence-based” — from official documents.
This is not the Trump administration’s first attempt to ignore the diversity of the United States population and pretend that LGBTQ people don’t exist. In March, the Department of Health and Human Services — the CDC’s parent agency — announced that it would stop collecting LGBTQ data in its national survey of older adults before partially backtracking under pressure from advocacy groups.
Agencies like the CDC are not supposed to be politically motivated. The scientists and public health professionals at the CDC are simply charged with protecting people from health threats, without any caveats. However, these actions come as less of a surprise when placed into the context of this administration’s anti-LGBTQ, and more specifically anti-transgender, agenda.