December 18, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


Major news sources are reporting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—the main public health institute in the U.S.—have been notified by the Trump/Pence regime that they are prohibited from using seven words in any documents related to next year’s budget: fetus; transgender; science-based; evidence-based; vulnerable; entitlement; and  diversity. Well, let’s dig into what this is about.

Ordering the government agency most responsible for public health and disease control to stop using the terms “science-based” and “evidence-based” is elevating the authority of the “opinions” of the fascist state, and the fundamentally anti-scientific teachings of Christian fascism, above the very method and approach of science that is the only way to determine what is true.

The “suggested” replacement for the term “science-based” is chilling: “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes.” What will it mean for scientific medical research to be confined to suit “community standards and wishes”? Take the situation with the widespread and unscientific rumors spread among people in recent years that vaccines cause autism, leading parents to refuse to vaccinate their children against many diseases. Scientific research, however, has determined that vaccines are not the cause of autism, and that they are vital for preventing serious diseases. Will the CDC be prevented from informing the public that those “community standards and wishes” are wrong, and that vaccines are safe and necessary?

Banning the word “fetus” is consistent with the outrageous language in the impending new tax law, and in the strategy statement of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that oversees the CDC, where the word “fetus” has been replaced by the term “unborn child.” These changes are the institutional preparations for a change in U.S. law to serve the Christian fascist goal of establishing the falsehood that “life begins at conception” and criminalizing abortion.

Banning the word “transgender,” and with it the particular medical needs of this section of society, such as hormone treatment and gender confirmation, goes hand in hand with the fascist goal of dehumanizing gay and transgender people and declaring them “deviants,” on the road to criminalizing the entire LGBTQ segment of society.

Eliminating “diversity” is part of reasserting white supremacy and male supremacy in the field of health, and ending the attention to research addressing the health needs of Black and other oppressed people, or women, or expanding the reach of programs where they have historically been excluded.

The elimination of the words “vulnerable” and “entitlement” go hand in hand with the ideology behind the new tax law, and the new fascist norms reflected in it—the enforcement of the crude capitalist principle as the policy of the state: “If you can't afford it—whether health care, food, or housing—then you shouldn't have it.” The concept of “entitlement,” that the government is responsible for providing any kind of social services—medical care, basic food nourishment, housing—to those most “vulnerable” and in need of them is now viewed as at odds with the way society should operate.

The Trump/Pence regime is carrying out a strategy, very much driven by the needs of this capitalist-imperialist system and the demands of the Christian theocrats, to reorganize society in a fascist way. To do that, they have to put an end to the expectations that the government has any responsibility for the lives of the masses of people; reverse the gains of struggles waged to overcome discrimination and repression; deny women control over their own bodies and LGBTQ people their very humanity; and threaten Black, Latino and other oppressed people with even more unrestrained police terror and discrimination on a whole new level.




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