Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky is facing criticism for using the phrase “pregnant people” to refer to pregnant women. She used the term in tweets urging expectant mothers to get inoculated against the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). Critics alleged that Walensky – a medical professional herself – was denying a biological truth.

Walensky tweeted that “the rise in [COVID-19] cases, vaccine hesitancy and the increased risk of severe illness” were enough reasons for “pregnant people” to get inoculated at the soonest. A follow-up tweet noted that COVID-19 vaccines “are safe for pregnant people at all stages of pregnancy and their babies.” The second tweet also recommended “all pregnant people or people thinking about becoming pregnant” to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The gender-neutral “pregnant people” gained popularity as a supposedly inclusive term, giving consideration to transgender men who get pregnant. However, critics slammed Walensky for politicizing language and denying basic biology – with many being women themselves.

U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) slammed the use of the term as an attempt to “erase women.” She told Fox News: “I’ve never seen a man tough enough to survive pregnancy and childbirth. The recent movement to erase women is disturbing, and has made its way into our bureaucracy.”

U.S. Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL) agreed with her GOP colleague’s sentiments. “When the CDC uses left-wing activist language like ‘pregnant people’ in official guidance, the public loses faith and trust in [its] objectivity,” she tweeted.

The CDC director, a doctor herself, refuses to acknowledge basic biology

Meanwhile, podcast host Allie Beth Stuckey tweeted that “every single ‘pregnant person’ is a woman – always, forever and unconditionally.” She was earlier suspended from Twitter after saying that transgender female weightlifter Laurel Hubbard was “still a man.” Stuckey’s remarks toward Hubbard, who competed for New Zealand in the Tokyo Olympics, merited her a 12-hour ban that has since been lifted.

Other critics zoomed in on the science behind Walensky’s use of the term. They argued that the CDC’s use of the politically correct term only diminished its credibility. Daily Wire reporter Megan Basham wrote in a tweet: “If you use the term ‘pregnant people’ instead of ‘pregnant women,’ why would I believe anything you have to say about ‘science’?”

Twitter user Brandon Westbrook agreed with Basham’s sentiments. He tweeted: “If you’re fuzzy on whether a man or woman can get pregnant, [I’m] probably not going to be taking your other science advice.”

Commentator and podcast host Stephen L. Miller meanwhile said in a tweet that he was starting to “understand the problem in messaging.” Washington Examiner Executive Editor Seth Mandel replied to Miller’s tweet, saying the CDC’s message was about “protecting the birthing people.”

CDC still insists the vaccines are safe for pregnant women

Despite the criticism thrown its way, the CDC doubled down on the importance of inoculation for pregnant women. It updated its guidance on the matter on Aug. 11, saying that “COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for … people who are trying to get pregnant now or might become pregnant in the future, as well as their partners.” 

Its new guidance was based on research by CDC scientists who found no safety concerns for pregnant women who get inoculated between the early and late stages of pregnancy. The same observation also applied to their babies, they added. Furthermore, the public health agency found no safety concerns for breastfeeding mothers and women trying to get pregnant.

To arrive at the new guidance, CDC scientists looked at data from nearly 2,500 pregnant women. The women got inoculated with either the Pfizer/BioNTech or the Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccine before their 20th week of pregnancy.

Walensky issued a statement regarding the new changes, again using the politically correct term. “The vaccines are safe and effective, and it has never been more urgent to increase vaccinations as we face the highly transmissible delta variant and see severe outcomes from COVID-19 among unvaccinated pregnant people,” she said.

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