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WATCH: Trump acknowledges dwindling stockpile at coronavirus task force briefing

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump acknowledged that the federal stockpile is nearly depleted of personal protective equipment used by doctors and nurses to protect themselves from the new coronavirus.

“It is,” Trump told reporters at a press briefing Wednesday, “because we’re sending it directly to hospitals.”

Concerns about the stockpile levels were first reported by the Washington Post on Wednesday.

Trump has said that the stockpile has almost 10,000 ventilators but that the administration has been keeping close hold on them so they can be deployed quickly to states that need them. But he said the administration had agreed to ship out 1,000 ventilators.

He said, “we have to have the flexibility of moving the ventilators to where the virus is going.”