Friday, the Washington Post reported the Center for Disease Control and Prevention banned a handful of words during a budget meeting including: vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, transgender, fetus, evidence-based and science-based.

The WaPo reported:

The Trump administration is prohibiting officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases — including “fetus” and “transgender” — in official documents being prepared for next year’s budget.

Policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta were told of the list of forbidden terms at a meeting Thursday with senior CDC officials who oversee the budget, according to an analyst who took part in the 90-minute briefing. The forbidden terms are “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”

In some instances, the analysts were given alternative phrases. 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. In other cases, no replacement words were immediately offered.

The Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the CDC, “will continue to use the best scientific evidence available to improve the health of all Americans,” HHS spokesman Matt Lloyd told The Washington Post. “HHS also strongly encourages the use of outcome and evidence data in program evaluations and budget decisions.”

By Sunday, the CDC was publicly correcting the record, saying the WaPo’s report had mischaracterized budget discussions.

A report in the NYT suggests the budget discussion, from which the WaPo report came, suggesting side-stepping certain words in order to secure budget funding from Congressional Republicans. Neither report cites their source for the supposed word blacklist.

PBS reports:

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the CDC, said the reported decree on banned words was a misrepresentation.

“The assertion that H.H.S. has ‘banned words’ is a complete mischaracterization of discussions regarding the budget formulation process,” Matt Lloyd, an agency spokesman, said in a statement. “H.H.S. will continue to use the best scientific evidence available to improve the health of all Americans. H.H.S. also strongly encourages the use of outcome and evidence data in program evaluations and budget decisions.”

Sometimes the outrage is too good to be true.