The fifth part of my plan is to protect our economic recovery. We have created a record number of jobs for a new government because of our vaccination program and the American rescue plan we adopted at the beginning of my term in office. Economic growth unmatched for 40 years. We cannot make this progress unvaccinated – undo it. Turn it back. So tonight I am announcing further steps to strengthen our economic recovery.
We will expand loan programs for economic damage from Covid-19. That’s a program that will allow small businesses to borrow up to $ 2 million from the current $ 500,000 to move on if Covid-19 affects their sales. These low-interest, long-term loans don’t have to be paid back for two years and can be used to hire and retain workers, buy supplies, or even pay off the more expensive debt that has accumulated since the pandemic began. I will also be taking additional steps to help small businesses stay afloat during the pandemic.
Sixth, we will continue to improve care for those who contract Covid-19. At the beginning of July I announced the use of surge response teams. These are teams of experts from the Department of Health, CDC, Department of Defense and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for areas of the country that need help to contain the spread of Covid-19. Since then, the federal government has deployed nearly 1,000 employees, including doctors, nurses, and paramedics, to 18 states. Today I announce that the Department of Defense will double the number of military health teams it will deploy to serve its American compatriots and hospitals across the country.
In addition, we are increasing the availability of new drugs recommended by real doctors, not conspiracy theorists. Treatment with monoclonal antibodies has been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization in unvaccinated people who are at risk of serious illness by up to 70 percent. We have already given out 1.4 million courses of these treatments to save lives and ease the burden on hospitals. Tonight, I announce that we will increase the average shipping rate of free monoclonal antibody treatments across the country by an additional 50 percent.
Before I close, let me say this: color communities are disproportionately affected by this virus. As we continue to fight Covid-19, we will ensure that justice remains at the center of our response. We make sure that everyone is reached. My first responsibility as President is to protect the American people and make sure we have enough vaccine for every American, including enough booster vaccines for every American allowed to get one.
We also know that this virus is crossing borders. Because of this, even if we carry out this plan at home, we must continue to fight the virus overseas and continue to be the vaccine arsenal. We are proud to have donated nearly 140 million vaccines to over 90 countries, more than any other country combined – including Europe, China and Russia combined. This is American leadership on a global scale, and this is just the beginning. We have also now started shipping another 500 million Covid vaccines, Pfizer vaccines, that were bought to donate to 100 low-income countries in need of vaccines, and I will announce further steps to help the rest of the world in Later this month to help.
Since I recently released the key parts of my pandemic prep plan so America doesn’t get caught off guard with a new pandemic, it comes back to what it will be like. I will also post a more detailed plan next month.