A congressional source told CNN on Wednesday that they were informed late last Friday night that the coronavirus task force -- led by Vice President Mike Pence -- was stopping overseas shipments of the medical equipment and instead asking that the supplies be distributed within the United States.
Asked about reports of the freeze on Wednesday, President Donald Trump said there was "no truth whatsoever" to them. However, minutes later, he noted that "whatever we have, whatever we've committed to, we commit," but added that "we also need a lot for ourselves."
"Obviously, we're not going to be shipping too much," he said during a White House briefing.
Despite the decision to freeze shipments of medical equipment overseas, the State Department and USAID have publicly touted America's generosity amid the global pandemic.
"In early February -- it seems like a long time ago -- in early February, we transported nearly 18 tons of medical supplies provided by Samaritan's Purse, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and others to Wuhan," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday, an apparent response to criticism of that shipment of aid.
"In America, we provide aid because we're a generous and noble people," he said.
Last week, the State Department announced $274 million in health and humanitarian assistance in response to the pandemic. However, a senior State Department official acknowledged last week that they were not offering personal protective equipment as part of that assistance.