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1984 showing up 33 years late?

Letter to the editor

POSTED: December 23, 2017 7:30 p.m.
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Editor: 1984 has issued an apology for showing up 33 years late. Although tardy to the party, it made a big splash last week when it did arrive with the order from the Trump administration to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that its personnel can no longer use the following eight words in any research papers, warnings or other communications with the public:

•Evidence-based

•Science-based

•Transgender

•Vulnerable

•Fetus

•Diversity

•Abortion

•Entitlement

One may speculate a report on research by the institution could cite improved means of detection for embryos past the 12th week of gestation improperly implanted into the fallopian tube so the fatal condition can be treated by premature termination of the pregnancy. It is a bit unwieldy if perfectly proper science-based description of trying to lower the death rate among women who suffer ectopic pregnancies. (Oh, wait! Sorry. Can’t say science-based.)

However, the mind boggles at just what term the administration thinks would be a suitable substitute for transgender.

This edict is nothing more or less than the weaponization of words. In "1984", some words were eliminated from usage while the meaning of others was changed, all to create a mutable reality that simply didn’t exist.

Now, we have one of the nation’s premier institutions of science which can no longer say the results of its studies are based on science. Instead, the Trump administration wants the CDC to say its reports are made "in consideration with community standards and wishes". Does this mean, if the community wishes cancer didn’t kill people, the CDC is expected to announce it won’t do it anymore? Does cancer undestand this new rule?

I don’t think so.

What it does mean is inconvenient facts about the health of American citizens derived from years of study and research at the CDC can be dismissed as no more true than Kellyanne Conway’s "alternative facts". After all, neither of them are either evidence-based or science-based.

Linda Witt

Hinesville

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