The Centers for Disease Control lost all credibility during the COVID crisis as it repeatedly issued false information and didn’t pay attention to the science. Former director Rochelle Walensky pushed the mRNA vaccines relentlessly, but recently uncovered emails showed that she knew as far back as January 2021 that they didn’t stop the transmission of the virus. She herself repeatedly caught the bug.
But the agency has also decided to wade into the controversial field of transgender politics, endorsing the “chestfeeding” of babies by trans people who were originally born male. They even provide tips for how biological males can produce more milk.
On a page on their website titled “Health Equity Considerations,” the CDC writes:
Transgender and nonbinary-gendered individuals may give birth and breastfeed or feed at the chest (chestfeed). The gender identity or expression of transgender individuals is different from their sex at birth. The gender identity of nonbinary-gendered individuals does not fit neatly into either man or woman.
An individual does not need to have given birth to breastfeed or chestfeed.
Some families may have other preferred terminology for how they feed their babies, such as nursing, chestfeeding, or bodyfeeding.
“Chestfeeding.” Sounds very scientific. Here’s one enthusiast:
UK: A trans-identified male who recently sparked controversy for being profiled as a "struggling mum" during a news segment on the cost of living crisis has now revealed he breastfed his baby.
Mika Minio-Paluello says “trans women can breastfeed.”https://t.co/TDTwd1UJe7
— REDUXX (@ReduxxMag) July 2, 2023
But what does any of this have to do with the CDC’s mission, which according to the agency’s title is “disease control?”
They don’t stop there, though, and list a long, woke series of dos and don’ts for how doctors should deal with patients:
Ask which terms, names and pronouns are preferred by the individuals being supported.
When introducing oneself, announcing one’s own pronouns may make it easier for others to share their pronouns.
If an individual corrects your pronoun use, it’s best to briefly acknowledge the mistake and correct the pronoun going forward. Spending too much time apologizing for the error can bring more attention and discomfort to the simple mistake.
There’s also a section on “Language” that endorses silly word changes like swapping the term “homeless” for “people experiencing homelessness,” but you get the idea.
The problem with their “chestfeeding” guidance is that much of it isn’t backed up by scientific studies and doesn’t take into account the health of the baby:
…doctors toldthe CDC has a ‘responsibility’ to disclose the lack of research and potential risks. One of the medications used to produce milk in biological men has been linked to heart problems in babies. They claimed the agency was blurring lines between ‘politics and science’.
Said the executive director of the conservative Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. Jane Orient, “we have no idea what the long-term effects on the child will be” if a breastfeeding trans person is on “all kinds of off-label hormones.” Added Dr. Stuart Fischer, an internal medicine physician in New York, it’s “very hard to believe” that milk produced by a trans person is the same quality as that from a female.
If it’s been tested a handful of times, how would we know the long-range effect? The short-term is one thing, but the long-term in terms of physical and mental illness… who knows? It’s an emerging field, to put it mildly.
This is the kind of thing where politics and science are uncomfortably put together.
There were many responses to a post (below) by Mika Minio-Paluello, the trans person featured in the tweet above, who complained about the difficulties of “chestfeeding,” and a bunch of users were extremely outraged (understatement). However, I thought this one summed up the situation best:
It’s one thing to claim you are a woman because you wear a skirt and earrings. It’s quite another attempt to breast feed a new born as a prop – and take the baby to a hospital unnecessarily. Was there no one else who could look after this baby? Or was the goal the bus journey… https://t.co/vjvjZmtZhw
— Sarah Phillimore (@SVPhillimore) July 2, 2023
“Or was the goal the bus journey breast feed selfie,” the poster asked. That is a darn good question (if not artfully formed).
I just don’t understand why the CDC is getting involved in this matter at all, much less seemingly endorsing behaviors that have not proven to be safe. It’s abundantly clear that they care more about politics and messaging than actual science.
Like the Department of Justice, it’s simply become an overtly politicized agency that does not deserve our trust.