U.K. to purposely infect volunteers

Controversial experiment hopes to speed vaccine development

By DANICA KIRKA 

Associated Press


LONDON — U.K. researchers are preparing to begin a controversial experiment that will infect healthy volunteers with coronavirus to study the disease in hopes of speeding up the development of a vaccine.


The approach, called a challenge study, is risky but proponents say it may produce results faster than standard research, which waits to see if volunteers who have been given an experimental treatment get sick.

The government is preparing to invest 33.6 million pounds ($43.4 million) in the study.


Imperial College London said Tuesday that the study, involving healthy volunteers between 18 and 30, would be conducted in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and hVivo, a company that has experience conducting testing.


“Deliberately infecting volunteers with a known human pathogen is never undertaken lightly,'' said Peter Openshaw, co-investigator on the study. “However, such studies are enormously informative about a disease, even one so well studied as COVID-19.‘’


In the first phase of the study, researchers will aim to determine the smallest level of exposure needed to cause the disease. Researchers will then use the same challenge model to study how potential vaccines work in the body, the body's immune response and potential treatments.


Vaccine Taskforce chair Kate Bingham said the research will improve our understanding of the virus and will help in making decisions about research.


“There is much we can learn in terms of immunity, the length of vaccine protection, and reinfection,'' she said in a statement.

'Running

angry,'
Trump goes
on attack

By ZEKE MILLER 

and JILL COLVIN 

Associated Press


TUCSON, Ariz. — An angry President Donald Trump has come out swinging against Dr. Anthony Fauci, the press and polls that show him trailing Democrat Joe Biden in key battleground states in a disjointed closing message two weeks before Election Day.


On the third day of a western campaign swing, Trump was facing intense pressure to turn around his campaign, hoping for the type of last-minute surge that gave him a come-from-behind victory four years ago. But his inconsistent message, another rise in coronavirus cases and his attacks on experts like Fauci could undermine his final efforts to appeal to voters outside his most loyal base.


“I’m not running scared," Trump told reporters on Monday before taking off for Tucson, Arizona, for his fifth rally in three days. "I think I’m running angry. I’m running happy, and I’m running very content 'cause I’ve done a great job.”


Trump's aggressive travel comes as he plays defense in states he won four years ago, though the Republican president insisted he was confident as he executed a packed schedule despite the pandemic.


“We’re going to win," he told campaign staff on a morning conference call from Las Vegas. He went on to acknowledge that he "wouldn’t have told you that maybe two or three weeks ago."