Incoming GOP congressman says vaccines may cause autism, contradicting CDC

An incoming Republican Congressman told constituents at a town hall this week that he believes vaccines may cause autism, contradicting the Centers for Disease Control and other scientific institutions, according to tennessean.com.

Mark GreenMark GreenRepublicans call for ex-Trump lawyer Cohen to be referred to DOJ Finally united, House Republicans refer ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen for perjury prosecution Overnight Defense: Trump labels elite Iranian military unit a terrorist group | Iran hits back with terrorist label for US Central Command | US troops, contractor killed in Afghanistan blast MORE, a physician who won his race in November to fill the seat of Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnConservative groups defend tech from GOP crackdown Lawmakers weigh challenges in fighting robocalls Senators show deep skepticism on Space Force proposal MORE (R-Tenn.), vowed to "stand on the CDC's desk and get the real data on vaccines,"adding he was doing so "because there is some concern that the rise in autism is the result of the preservatives that are in our vaccines," according to tennessean.com.

"As a 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 said.

Green also suggested that some of the data has been "fraudulently managed," but cited no evidence.

According to tennessean.com, Green made the comments in response to a question from a woman who has a son with autism, and is concerned about cuts to Medicaid. 

The CDC has repeatedly stated there is no link between vaccines and autism.

"Many studies that have looked at whether there is a relationship between vaccines and autism spectrum disorder," the CDC writes on its website.

"To date, the studies continue to show that vaccines are not associated with ASD."

Green elaborated in a statement to tennessean.com. 

"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."

Trump nominated Green to be Army Secretary last year, but he withdrew from consideration after his controversial statements about LGBTQ issues, Islam and evolution were revealed.