A soon-to-be congressman from Tennessee told constituents Tuesday he believed vaccines may be causing autism, questioning data from the Centers for Disease Control and other institutions disproving such a theory.
Not only did Republican Mark Green, a Congressman-elect from Clarksville who is also a medical doctor, express hesitation about the CDC’s stance on vaccines, Green said he believed the federal health agency has “fraudulently managed” the data.
His remarks came in response to an audience question at a town hall meeting in Franklin from a woman identifying herself as the parent of a young adult with autism. The woman was concerned about possible cuts to Medicaid funding.
“Let me say this about autism,” Green said. “I have committed to people in my community, up in Montgomery County, to stand on the CDC’s desk and get the real data on vaccines. Because there is some concern that the rise in autism is the result of the preservatives that are in our vaccines.
As a physician, I can make that argument and I can look at it academically and make the argument against the CDC, if they really want to engage me on it,” Green said.
Despite calls by the anti-vaccination movement for parents not to vaccinate their children against a number of diseases, CDC data disproves the movement’s findings.
Through multiple studies, the CDC has found no link between autism and vaccines, including from the mercury-based preservative in vaccines referenced by Green.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has reiterated those findings.
“Claims that vaccines are linked to autism, or are unsafe when administered according to the recommended schedule, have been disproven by a robust body of medical literature,” wrote two American Academy of Pediatrics doctors last year. “Delaying vaccines only leaves a child at risk of disease.”