National Physicians Alliance Statement on CDC Word Ban

December 18, 2017

Becky Martin, Advocacy Director
National Physicians Alliance
c: 941/518-7051

National Physicians Alliance Statement on CDC Word Ban

Statement attributable to Manan Trivedi, MD, MPP
President, National Physicians Alliance

The National Physicians Alliance considers the Trump administration’s banning of certain words by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) officials in agency documents as contrary to its mission of serving the public health. Open, honest discourse is integral to science and advancements in the prevention and treatment of disease.

This type of censorship is antithetical to the work of of science and medicine and will not lead to better public health for our country or our patients.

Disallowing physicians and scientists to say words such as “fetus” makes it hard to understand how serious diseases like the Zika virus, which affect fetuses, would even be discussed. Banning the word “transgender” lends government support to the wrongful dismissal by some to the rights of this group of people. And, not letting researchers use the term “evidence-based” is frankly incomprehensible as “evidence-based medicine and policies” is exactly what we need to further advance our health care system.

The home page of the CDC displays a “Pledge to the American People.” Banning words goes directly against the integrity of the agency and the tenets of that pledge, including that all public health decisions be based “on the highest quality scientific data”.


The National Physicians Alliance is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that offers a professional home to physicians across medical specialties. We create research and education programs that promote health and foster active engagement of physicians with their communities. The NPA accepts no funding from pharmaceutical or medical device companies.
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