Natalie Allison reports at The Nashville Tennessean:
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, he also 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.
Felicia Sonmez at WP:
Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine, said that it was shocking that a newly elected congressman “would openly espouse such blatant antiscience and discredited views.”
“The science is clear: Vaccines do not cause autism or the other things the antivaccine lobby alleges,” said Hotez, whose recent book, “Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism,” draws on his experience as a vaccine expert and the father of an autistic child.
He added that without Green’s “immediate reaction and heartfelt apology, he deserves censure or exclusion.”
A spokesman for Green did not respond to a request for clarification of the congressman-elect’s claim that the CDC’s data may have been “fraudulently managed.”
Green was recently elected president of the Republican freshman class. He last year withdrew as President Trump’s nominee for Army secretary amid criticism of his past comments about Islam, evolution and LGBT issues.