There are no known cures or vaccines for COVID-19, the defining pandemic of this era. Animal models are essential to fast track new interventions and nonhuman primate (NHP) models of other infectious diseases MESHD have proven extremely valuable. Here we compare SARS-CoV-2 infection MESHD in three species of experimentally infected NHPs (rhesus macaques, baboons, and marmosets). During the first 3 days, macaques developed clinical signatures of viral infection MESHD and systemic inflammation MESHD, coupled with early evidence of viral replication and mild-to-moderate interstitial and alveolar pneumonitis, as well as extra-pulmonary pathologies. Cone-beam CT scans showed evidence of moderate pneumonia MESHD pneumonia HP, which progressed over 3 days. Longitudinal studies showed that while both young and old macaques developed early signs of COVID-19, both groups recovered within a two-week period. Recovery was characterized by low-levels of viral persistence in the lung, suggesting mechanisms by which individuals with compromised immune systems may be susceptible to prolonged and progressive COVID-19. The lung compartment contained a complex early inflammatory milieu with an influx of innate and adaptive immune cells, particularly interstitial macrophages, neutrophils and plasmacytoid dendritic cells, and a prominent Type I-interferon response. While macaques developed moderate disease MESHD, baboons exhibited prolonged shedding of virus and extensive pathology following infection MESHD; and marmosets demonstrated a milder form of infection MESHD. These results showcase in critical detail, the robust early cellular immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection MESHD, which are not sterilizing and likely impact development of antibody SERO responses. Thus, various NHP genera recapitulate heterogeneous progression of COVID-19. Rhesus macaques and baboons develop different, quantifiable disease attributes MESHD making them immediately available essential models to test new vaccines and therapies.