July 15, 1973 – Nixon And Pneumonia – Nixon And Watergate – Nixon And Cambodia.
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July 15, 1973 – News this week had to do with Presidential health. Earlier in the week, President Nixon was admitted to Bethesda Naval Hospital with a case of Pneumonia. Nixon’s doctor, Dr. Walter Tkach disclosed that the President was indeed suffering from Pneumonia and that he had been put on a regimen of antibiotics and physical therapy. The Doctor went on to express concern that, even though President Nixon was showing marked signs of improvement, his workload and unwillingness to slow down could result in a relapse.
While the story on Nixon’s health was unfolding, it didn’t prevent the ongoing investigation into the Watergate matter from continuing. For his part, President Nixon indicated he would not appear before the Watergate Committee or hand over any Presidential papers involved. Committee Chairman Sam Ervin considered a subpoena for the papers and then leaving the next step up to the President However, a consensus among Senators was that a compromise could be worked out in order to avoid a Constitutional confrontation between Executive and Legislative branches of government.
Meanwhile in the rest of the world; fifteen B-52’s came home from Southeast Asia, signaling the beginning of the end of the bombing of Cambodia, slated to be halted one month from this day under a Presidential/Congressional compromise. Whether the bombing continued or not was no longer a relevant issue, according to the Cambodian government which had consistently lost ground over the previous month because the Cambodian army was simply too tired and too demoralized to fight. The weakness of the Army allowed the insurgents, in spite of the bombing, to push forward. Since the bombing began intensively in February, the rate of insurgent concentration from Phnom Penh shrunk from 30 to 10 miles. The insurgents resisted bombing partly by building bunkers immune to bombing affects. With the war on the ground deteriorating, there was little hope the tide of war could be turned around solely from the air. As it stood, defeat of the Cambodian government was becoming a sure deal with each passing day.
And that’s a little of what happened for this week, ending July 15, 1973 as reported by The World This Week from CBS Radio.