Infectious disease expert slams study that panned hydroxychloroquine as COVID-19 treatment: 'It's a sham'

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Infectious disease expert Dr. Stephen Smith told "The Ingraham Angle" Monday night that a study published last week indicating the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine showed no benefit for coronavirus patients in U.S. veterans hospitals was a "sham."

"I've no idea why [University of Virginia School of Medicine opthamology professor Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati] delved into this study, which isn't a study. It's a sham," Smith said. "I can't believe anyone took this seriously. There's not one dosage listed, cumulative or daily, of hydroxychloriquine or anthromicin. And people call this a study."

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The research, which was published in the medRxiv online depository and has not been peer-reviewed, analyzed the medical records of 368 male veterans hospitalized with confirmed coronavirus infection at Veterans Health Administration medical centers who died or were discharged by April 11.

About 28 percent of patients who were given hydroxychloroquine plus usual care died versus 11 percent of those getting routine care alone. About 22 percent of those getting the drug plus azithromycin died too, but the difference between that group and usual care was not considered large enough to rule out other factors that could have affected survival.

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"Not one person in that paper saw one COVID patient. Only three are MDs [and] all [those] are ophthalmology trained," Smith said of the research. "It's a sham. It's a shame on UVA. I sent an email to the dean of the medical school at UVA. I have not heard back from them. It is an embarrassment that UVA allows this thing to be called a study."

Fox News' James Rogers and The Associated Press contributed to this report.