Hypoadiponectinemia is speculated to play a key role in the relationship between obesity and COVID-19 respiratory failure. However, only one study has examined adiponectin levels in COVID-19 patients, and none have investigated adiponectin levels strictly in patients with acute respiratory failure. In this study, we performed a retrospective case-control study of adipokine levels in patients with acute respiratory failure caused by either COVID-19 or other viral/bacterial source. All patients with COVID-19 respiratory failure in the University of Virginia Biorepository and Tissue Research database were included. We also selected patients with non-COVID-19 infectious respiratory failure from the same biorepository to serve as a comparison cohort. Plasma adipokine levels were measured on three occasions during the first 72 hours of hospitalization. Twelve patients with COVID-19 respiratory failure and 17 patients with other infectious respiratory failure were studied. Adiponectin levels were significantly lower in patients with COVID-19 respiratory failure, even after adjustment for age, sex, BMI, and other covariates. In conclusion, adiponectin levels appear to be reduced in COVID-19 respiratory failure. Larger studies are needed to confirm this report.