COVID-19 results in increased expression of inflammatory cytokines, but inflammation-targeting clinical trials have yielded poor to mixed results. Our studies of other disorders with an inflammatory component, including Alzheimer’s disease, chemobrain, Down syndrome, normal aging, and West Nile Virus infection, showed that treatment with the ‘pro-inflammatory’ cytokine granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) in humans or mouse models alleviated clinical, behavioral, and pathological features. We proposed that human recombinant GM-CSF (sargramostim) be repurposed to promote both the innate and adaptive immune responses in COVID-19 to reduce viral load and mortality1. Here, we report the results of a placebo-controlled study of GM-CSF in human ACE2 transgenic mice inoculated intranasally with SARS-CoV2 virus, a model of COVID-19. Infection resulted in high viral titers in lungs and brains and over 85% mortality. GM-CSF treatment beginning one day after infection increased anti-viral antibody titers, lowered mean lung viral titers proportionately (p=0.0020) and increased the odds of long-term survival by up to 5.8-fold (p=0.0358), compared to placebo. These findings suggest that, as an activator of both the innate and adaptive immune systems, GM-CSF/sargramostim may be an effective COVID-19 therapy with the potential to protect from re-infection more effectively than treatment with antiviral drugs or monoclonal antibodies.