Infection with SARS-CoV-2 portends a broad range of outcomes, from a majority of asymptomatic cases or mild clinical courses to a lethal disease. Robust correlates of severe COVID-19 include old age, male sex, poverty and co-morbidities such as obesity, diabetes or cardiovascular disease. A precise knowledge is still lacking of the molecular and biological mechanisms that may explain the association of severe disease with male sex. Here, we show that testosterone trajectories are highly accurate individual predictors (AUC of ROC = 0.928, p < 0.0001) of survival in male COVID-19 patients. Longitudinal determinations of blood levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) and androstenedione suggest an early modest inhibition of the central LH-androgen biosynthesis axis in a majority of patients, followed by either full recovery in survivors or a peripheral failure in lethal cases. Moreover, failure to reinstate physiological testosterone levels was associated with evidence of impaired T helper differentiation and decrease of non-classical monocytes. The strong association of recovery or failure to reinstate testosterone levels with survival or death from COVID-19 in male patients is suggestive of a significant role of testosterone status in the immune responses to COVID-19.