A newly-elected member of Congress is sparking controversy in the medical community. National attention has come to comments made by Rep.-elect Mark Green concerning vaccines and autism.
At a town hall meeting this week, a video by the Tennessean caught Green saying this;
"I have committed to people in my community of 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 a result of the preservatives that are in our vaccines. As a physician, I can look at that argument."
"The World Health Organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, I think pediatricians around the world all understand vaccines have nothing to do with autism," said Dr. William Shaffner of Vanderbilt.
Shaffner said autism needs more research but claims about it have to be addressed with science.
"It's hard to unring the bell," he said. "We should reassure parents they can take their children to their pediatricians and family doctors and get them protected against these serious diseases."
Green is a physician and veteran elected to the state senate in 2012 and is now elected to represent Tennessee's Seventh Congressional District. Green was previously in the national spotlight last year when President Trump nominated him to become Secretary of the Army. Green withdrew his nomination.
In a statement Green said, "Recent comments I made at a town hall regarding vaccines have been misconstrued. I want to reiterate my wife and I vaccinated our children, and we believe and advise others they should have their children vaccinated."