With more than a million coronavirus cases reported in the United States and more than 26 million people out of work, the hunger for good news was so strong on Wednesday that reports that a possible treatment for the coronavirus showed early signs of promise helped rally the stock market.
The early results of a federal trial showing that treatment with remdesivir, an experimental antiviral drug, can speed recovery in infected patients were heralded as “very optimistic” at the White House by Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. That helped the S&P 500 gain nearly 3 percent on a day the Commerce Department reported the worst quarterly contraction in the nation’s gross domestic product since 2008, during the Great Recession.
President Trump and his advisers similarly embraced optimism as a theme in a week when the nation surpassed 60,000 deaths from the virus. As states begin to lift quarantines, the White House has continued to offer a revisionist history of the pandemic in which the actions of Mr. Trump and his team were not belated and inadequate, but bold and effective.
“The federal government rose to the challenge, and this is a great success story,” Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, said on “Fox & Friends.” “And I think that that’s really, you know, what needs to be told.”