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CDC Chief Under Fire For Using Term 'Pregnant People' in Calls for Vaccination

CC0 / Pixabay / Pregnant woman
Pregnant woman - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.08.2021
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When it comes to describing pregnancy, menstruation and other reproductive aspects of the female human body, things have recently started to get complicated, with multiple sides clashing on whether using the descriptive form "people" instead of "women" is appropriate, inclusive or just plain offensive.
After CDC chief Rochelle Walensky on Wednesday tweeted to promote COVID vaccinations for "pregnant people", some users were triggered because she did not use the term "women", filling Twitter threads with criticism and accusations of trying to "erase women".
"The rise in cases, vaccine hesitancy, and the increased risk of severe illness for pregnant people make vaccination against #COVID19 more urgent than ever. Read why @CDCgov recommends that pregnant people should be vaccinated against COVID-19", Walensky tweeted, attaching a CDC article on topic.
Some moved to cast doubt on whether the CDC can be trusted to offer scientifically-based health recommendations, arguing that the use of "inclusive" terms undermines trust in the agency's objectivity.
​The CDC advice attracted men as well, with some jokingly pledging to get vaccinated as soon as they discover themselves pregnant.
​Many netizens suggested that the change in bureaucratic language is harmful to women and indicates that there is an entire "movement" with a goal to "erase" the word "woman". One user came up with an option that could be both inclusive and appreciative towards women but noted how the CDC has not used their suggestion.
​Calls from the CDC to get vaccinated for COVID  come amid concerns about the "highly transmissible Delta variant". Last week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading US immunologist, said that the Biden administration is planning to introduce additional booster shots of COVID vaccines for "immunocompromised individuals".
Amid a global increase in coronavirus cases, the CDC also reinstated mask mandates, even for those who are vaccinated, prompting another wave of backlash, with some state governments introducing legislation banning mask mandates.
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