Tennessee scientists weighed response to anti-vax politician

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee’s top health officials went back and forth on how best to respond when U.S. Rep. Mark Green questioned the science behind vaccines.

The Associated Press requested emails and documents surrounding the Department of Health’s decision to issue a statement promoting the value of vaccines just days after Green suggested without evidence that vaccines may cause autism.

Green’s town hall remarks received national attention. He’s walked back his comments since then.

The public records show health officials drafted several responses before issuing a brief statement declaring that vaccines save lives and encouraging people with questions to reach out to the health agency. They also show that the state’s epidemiologist called the newly elected congressman a “goofball.”

Green didn’t respond to the AP’s request for comment.

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