Resident U.S. President Donald Trump is guilty of tainting the American Healthcare system with a series of alarmingly homophobic and transphobic health reforms which are subdued under an equally problematic disguise- the rejection of scientific knowledge and principles.
At the very pinnacle of 2017, Trump’s administration debuted a complete lack of understanding for the terminology required for the function of the medical field by banning the Centres of Disease Control (CDC) from incorporating the use of vital words such as ‘science-based’, ‘evidence-based’ and, controversially, even “transgender”.
According to The Washington Post, Policy analysts were notified of this ban in December 2017 in a 90 minute meeting surrounding these requests.
However, it is important to note that this ban is not strictly enforced by law and has not spread widely to the lead scientists and subject matter experts working within the health agency- but there is a widespread request from higher authorities to avoid such words and phrases. And while the overwhelming response amongst the majority is akin to a slowly bubbling cry of outrage, these words are banned on an official, regulatory basis within the official documents for the February 2019 budget.
Other banned words include the concepts of ‘diversity’ and ‘vulnerability’, both of which add to the bigoted interpretation of such reforms.
In a dogmatic way, it is clear that the pervasive ideology of the Trump administration, and that of the man himself, is inevitably and almost invariably trickling down to the recesses of health reforms, official documentation and other effective American policies.
A worrying update has revealed the appointment a new CDC director, Robert Redfield, a former AIDS and Opioid researcher at the University of Maryland.
Redfield’s historical public health policies have been so controversial in the past decade that, in 2002, he was denied this position by Republican President George W. Bush due to his track record of ostracising AIDS victims.
While his economic history seems to be relatively clear, in comparison to Fitzgerald (his predecessor), Redfield has a reproachable past in dealing with infections within the armed forces under Ronald Reagan’s administration.
Redfield influenced Defence Department policies which created stigma around soldier patients in October 1985. After enduring mandatory testing, every soldier, pilot or sailor testing positive would be isolated to prison-like conditions until they developed aids or were socially degraded by being handed notice of dishonourable discharge. Before even being informed of his health status, the troops would often find out from the rest of their chain of command. They were kept in barracks referred to colloquially as “HIV Hotel” or “Leper Colony”.
Inevitably, such degrading procedures were both ostracising and lethal to each victim in question. Yet, it doesn’t end there. The implications of his beliefs are likely to have an effect on public views towards HIV victims as he previously laid blame on single parents, a lack of sexual abstinence, homosexuality and the umbrella term of disintegrating family values.
While his extensive history of questionable medical ethics seems to prevail without question, one could wonder whether his scientific expertise balances the playing field. This is unfortunately not the case.
Despite Trump’s insistence that he is not a direct enemy of the LGBTQ+ movement, often using it as ammunition against Islamic extremists, it is not unsurprising that his ideological views align with those of Redfield. Unfortunately this problem has transcended from a matter of politicised linguistics to a serious threat of hindering domestic HIV/AIDs programmes and other implications that may follow, including budget cuts to research of many other infectious diseases, with the employment of a leader who is neither an advocate for effective scientific progress nor equal treatment.
In this case, it is not ‘Frankenstein science’ nor technological progress that are at a disparage with conventional morality; both are at risk of being negatively effected as a fallout of conservative, religious views and unbarred bigotry.
-@EmirShiro on Instagram