Press Room

ASTHO Statement on Media Reports Regarding “Banned Words” at CDC

ARLINGTON, VA (Dec. 18, 2017)— Michael Fraser, executive director of ASTHO, issued the following statement on recent media reports regarding “banned words” at CDC:

“It is critical that public health professionals use science and evidence to make informed decisions to improve the health of the population. Today, ASTHO sent a letter to Acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan expressing that science must remain the bedrock of policies formulated at HHS. Public health professionals should be empowered by both the Administration and Congress to use the language necessary to convey the importance of their work to the public, policymakers, and other stakeholders. We are encouraged by CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald’s clarification that there are no ‘banned’ words at CDC and we look forward to continued collaboration across HHS to implement scientifically-sound, evidence-based best practices at the state and territorial levels.”


ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories and freely associated states, and the District of Columbia, as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in public health practice.