While speaking with his constituents this Tuesday, U.S. Rep.-elect Mark Green dismissed established science supporting the safety of vaccines, saying that he believes they’re linked to autism.
Green, who is also a medical doctor, said that he believes the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) has “fraudulently managed” the data surrounding vaccines.
According to the Tennessean, Green make the remarks in response to a question from a parent of a young adult with autism who was concerned about 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,” he added.
Multiple studies conducted by the CDC and other research groups have outright debunked the claim that vaccine are linked to autism.
During the town hall event with his constituents, Green said that he’d make it a priority to “stand against” the CDC and their alleged misrepresentation of the data on vaccines.
“But it appears some of that data has been, honestly, maybe fraudulently managed,” Green said. “So we’ve got to go up there and stand against that and make sure we get that fixed, that issue addressed.”
Speaking to the Tennessean this Wednesday, Green doubled down on his claims, saying that there “appears to be some evidence that as vaccine numbers increase, rates of autism increase.”
“We need better research, and we need it fast,” he said. “We also need complete transparency of any data. Vaccines are essential to good population health. But that does not mean we should not look closely at the correlation for any causation.”
Beliefs like the ones held by Green are responsible for the resurgence of diseases once eradicated by vaccines.
Measles made a huge comeback in Europe in 2017 with over 21,000 new cases being reported across the continent, according to an alarming report from the German news outlet Deutsche Welle. The data released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in February of this year shows measles cases quadrupled from the previous year.
In 2017, Europe saw 35 people die from the disease.
“Every new person affected by measles in Europe reminds us that unvaccinated children and adults, regardless of where they live, remain at risk of catching the disease and spreading it to others who may not be able to get vaccinated,” said WHO Regional Director for Europe, Zsuzsanna Jakab, adding that outbreaks of the disease and its resulting deaths are a “tragedy we simply cannot accept.”
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