© 2020 Gómez-Rial et al. Emerging studies from SARS-CoV-2-infected patients indicate a preponderant role of monocytes/macrophages in the pathogenesis of this viral infection, in a similar way to that previously observed in other coronavirus outbreaks (SARS and MERS). The clinical presentation of severe patients resembles viral-associated hemophago-cytic syndrome, a rare condition previously seen during lethal influenza pandemics and during previous SARS and MERS coronavirus outbreaks. SARS-CoV-2 infection triggers an over-exuberant inflammatory response due to the development of a cytokine storm and the depletion of the adaptative immune compartment, which may prelude sepsis in many cases. The present review summarizes past evidence on the role of monocytes/macrophages in previous coronavirus outbreaks and the emerging knowledge on their role in COVID-19 pathogenesis. Treatment strategies incorporating the blockade of migration and differentiation of monocyte-macrophage, such as granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor inhibitors, might enhance the promising results seen so far with selective cytokine blockade.