President Trump’s administration has placed a gag order on federal agencies, including the HHS and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Workers have been told not to talk to the press, the public, members of Congress, and state or local officials, according to several sources.
Politico reports that the President ordered agencies to hold off on any pending rules or guidances until they undergo review by his administration. An HHS official called media reports “erroneous”, stating “HHS and its agencies continue to communicate fully about its work through all of its regular communication channels with the public, the media and other relevant audiences.”
Departments across agencies are concerned about potential secrecy of the Trump administration and the freedom of information and speech. However, The New York Times quotes an EPA official, who stated that Trump’s actions are standard of any new administration coming into office. “I don’t think it’s fair to call it a gag order. This is standard practice. And the move with regard to the grants, when a new administration comes in, you run things by them before you update the website,” the official who wanted to remain anonymous stated.