The Strategic National Stockpile is deploying the last round of shipments in its inventory, depleting the bulk of its protective gear, a source familiar told CNN.
The official said the stockpile was never meant to serve as the only source of protective gear for the entire coronavirus response and the states would need to get more supply from the private market.
The official stressed that the stockpile, which is managed by the Department of Health and Human Services, will never be completely depleted as they always retain a small percentage for the most critical needs.
Some context: Since the start of the pandemic, officials have been sounding the alarm that there was never going to be enough gear for a 50-state response.
On Tuesday, President Trump said the government would hold onto 10,000 ventilators to ensure they had the ability to deploy quickly if they need the units in the future.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said the agency's planning for the Covid-19 pandemic response "acknowledged that the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) alone could not fulfill all requirements at the State and tribal level. Therefore, as the vice president stated last night, the federal government will exhaust all means to identify and attain medical and other supplies needed to combat the virus."
A Department of Homeland Security official told CNN the stockpile is "near depletion because the numbers are low."
"When you see demand is outpacing supply, then we go to the people [states] who are asking for equipment and ask if they are exhausting all of their sources," the official said. "We are having to balance places that don't have any [PPE], versus someone on the verge, but not there yet."