The fifth piece of my plan is protecting our economic recovery. Because of our vaccination program, and the American Rescue Plan, which we passed early in my administration, we’ve had record job creation for a new administration. Economic growth unmatched in 40 years. We cannot let unvaccinated do this progress — undo it. Turn it back. So tonight I’m announcing additional steps to strengthen our economic recovery.
We’ll be expanding Covid-19 economic injury disaster loan programs. That’s a program that’s going to allow small businesses to borrow up to $2 million, from the current $500,000, to keep going if Covid-19 impacts on their sales. These low-interest, long-term loans require no repayment for two years and can be used to hire and retain workers, purchase inventory or even pay down higher-cost debt racked up since the pandemic began. I’ll also be taking additional steps to help small businesses stay afloat during the pandemic.
Sixth, we’re going to continue to improve the care of those who do get Covid-19. In early July, I announced the deployment of surge response teams. These are teams comprised of experts from the Department of Health and Human Services, the C.D.C., the Defense Department and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, to areas in the country that need help to stem the spread of Covid-19. Since then, the federal government has deployed nearly 1,000 staff including doctors, nurses, paramedics, into 18 states. Today, I’m announcing that the Defense Department will double the number of military health teams that they will deploy to help their fellow Americans and hospitals around the country.
Additionally, we’re increasing the availability of new medicines recommended by real doctors, not conspiracy theorists. The monoclonal antibody treatments have been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization by up to 70 percent for unvaccinated people at risk of developing severe disease. We’ve already distributed 1.4 million courses of these treatments to save lives and reduce the strain on hospitals. Tonight, I’m announcing we’ll increase the average pace of shipment across the country of free monoclonal antibody treatments by another 50 percent.
Before I close, let me say this: Communities of color are disproportionately impacted by this virus. As we continue to battle Covid-19, we will ensure that equity continues to be at the center of our response. We’ll ensure 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 boosters for every American who’s approved to get one.
We also know this virus transcends borders. That’s why even as we execute this plan at home we need to continue fighting the virus overseas, continue to be the arsenal of vaccines. We’re proud to have donated nearly 140 million vaccines to over 90 countries, more than all other countries combined — including Europe, China and Russia combined. That’s American leadership on a global stage, and that’s just the beginning. We’ve also now started to ship another 500 million Covid vaccines, Pfizer vaccines, purchased to donate to 100 lower-income countries in need of vaccines, and I’ll be announcing additional steps to help the rest of the world later this month.
As I recently released the key parts of my pandemic preparedness plan so that America isn’t caught flat-footed with a new pandemic comes again, as it will. Next month I’m also going to release a plan in greater detail.