About those seven words (not George Carlin’s seven)

I guess it could seem silly, how fascism works—from the micro to the macro—that seven reasonable terms would become forbidden for the CDC to use. That’s the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The Atlanta-based federal agency that the U.S. turns to when during vulnerable times, when there’s a need for evidence-based and science-based research so that the diversity of the whole population can stay safe from things like Zika virus or an Ebola outbreak or zombies (see also: Season 1 of The Walking Dead; and Max Brooks’ World War Z).

These are the seven words, as reported by The Washington Post, that the Trump Administration is forbidding policy analysts at the CDC from using:

VULNERABLE

ENTITLEMENT

DIVERSITY

TRANSGENDER

FETUS

EVIDENCE-BASED

SCIENCE-BASED

Immediately, this looks like another volley in the ongoing attacks by the current administration on people who are vulnerable, people who rely on earned benefits from programs such as Social Security and Medicare, people who could be called diverse, people who are transgender, people who study, work with, or care about fetuses, and people like scientists and those who value scientific inquiry—that is, the notion that are understanding of the world can not only can be enhanced by evidence-based and science-based work, but that are understanding of reality is completely dependent upon such examinations.

The Post article states:

Instead of “science-based” or ­“evidence-based,” the suggested phrase is “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes,” the person said.

“Wishes”? Wishes? WISHES??????

We’re supposed to know how to combat diseases and epidemics based on WISHES??????

I’ve always thought the American experiment in democracy was founded upon principles of the enlightenment; namely, the primacy of reason and empiricism. (Hey, “empirical” and its variants aren’t banned, so there’s that.) In other words “wishes” over “science-based” isn’t just ignorant and dangerous, it is also un-American.

Maybe its time for scientists and the rest of us to march again.

Published by Michael Janairo

Writer. Reader. Coffee drinker. Fiction. Poetry. Art. Museums. (My family name is pronounced "ha NIGH row.")

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