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On the day that Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated on March 4, 1933, a crowd estimated at nearly 100,000 heard his inaugural address in Washington DC. A quarter of the workforce was unemployed and some were beginning to doubt the capacity of a democratic government to cope with the economic situation.
Almost with his first words, Roosevelt expressed the opinion that the situation was indeed within the capacity of Americans to solve:
So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.
Immediately, he launched legislative and executive program that would become known as the Hundred Days. In three months, the federal government passed more legislation with wider impacts than had ever been accomplished in such a short period.
Roosevelt`s attitude stood in sharp contrast with that of Herbert Hoover, who as his predecessor in the White House had stood against the introduction of untried and potentially dangerous innovations. Roosevelt realized that there was no road map to recovery in the unprecedented situation he faced. He had made this clear during the campaign, when he said, "It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something."
The new president`s first act was executive rather than legislative. The banking problem had been building since the start of the year and had reached crisis proportions. States were already acting to declare their own bank holidays. On the very day of his inauguration, Roosevelt declared a national bank holiday, which he extended until Congress, which he brought back in emergency session, could pass the Emergency Banking Act.
In his inaugural address, Roosevelt made it clear that he was prepared to move beyond what Congress would support if he felt it necessary.
It is to be hoped that the normal balance of executive and legislative authority may be wholly adequate to meet the unprecedented task before us. But it may be that an unprecedented demand and need for undelayed action may call for temporary departure from that normal balance of public procedure.I am prepared under my constitutional duty to recommend the measures that a stricken nation in the midst of a stricken world may require. These measures, or such other measures as the Congress may build out of its experience and wisdom, I shall seek, within my constitutional authority, to bring to speedy adoption.But in the event that the Congress shall fail to take one of these two courses, and in the event that the national emergency is still critical, I shall not evade the clear course of duty that will then confront me. I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis—broad Executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.
In the event, Congress was not inclined to obstruct him. Democrats were eager to join his efforts and Republicans either agreed with them or saw the folly in resistance. As Will Rogers put it, "Congress doesn`t pass legislation any more, they just wave at the bills as they go by."
Industrial recovery was a constant theme during the Hundred Days. A bill proposed by Senator Black of Alabama called for capping work weeks at 30 hours and forbidding the interstate transportation of goods produced by workers employed at longer than 30 hour weeks. This was the "spreading of work" principle in its simplest form. If there was work for 75% of the population at 40 hours, it should allow everyone to work 30. Congress, however, wasn`t interested. Business Week commented that every businessman seemed in favor of national control of the economy in general, but had reservations about its application to his own industry.
What passed instead was the National Industrial Recovery Act.
This target, given in his speech to Congress, is an increase on previous goals - and has been achieved.
When he took office in January, President Biden pledged 100 million vaccine doses in his first 100 days. At the end of March he doubled that commitment.
At the time he said: "I know it's ambitious - twice our original goal. But no other country in the world has even come close, not even close, to what we are doing."
The US has so far delivered a total of 235 million vaccine doses according to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Around 16 million of these were given during the Trump administration, which means that around 220 million have been delivered during Mr Biden's first 100 days in in office.
But the US still lags behind some other countries when comparing the number of jabs done relative to the size of the population.
Israel leads in terms of vaccinating its population against the virus, followed by the United Kingdom and then the US.
Newt Gingrich: Biden’s first 100 days — among the most radical in all of American history
With the exception of the breakout of the Civil War at the onset of Lincoln’s presidency, the Biden administration’s first 100 days have been the most radical in American history.
The elite media would have Americans believe that President Biden is doing really well with a slight majority approval rating of 52 percent, according to a poll by ABC News and the Washington Post. But compare President Biden and his 52 percent with President Kennedy, who received 83 percent approval at this stage, or President Obama’s 69 percent approval.
The fact is Biden has the third-lowest 100-day approval rating compared to every American president since World War II.
The only two presidents with lower approval ratings were President Donald Trump at 42 percent and President Gerald Ford at 48 percent.
For context, President Trump at this stage of his presidency had been assaulted by the international, academic, and media establishments. He had been dealing with a series of lies spread by the elite left — specifically, the Russia hoax.
Ford replaced President Nixon after the Watergate scandal, so he didn’t have to win an election. As a result, he was not well known by the country 100 days into his term.
Yet, Biden, who has been the object of the elite media’s adoration since announcing his run for president, received only a slightly higher approval rating than the establishment’s ultimate challenger and an unknown?
Since January, President Biden and Vice President Harris have put forward a purely radical explosion of ideas and policies that fundamentally break with our American tradition.
President Biden’s actions, statements, and policies have been characterized by a few common themes. The first is a reliance upon a series of big lie campaigns. For example, President Biden condemned Georgia’s new voting law, calling the legislation “Jim Crow in the 21st century” when, in reality, the law expands access to secure voting.
The left’s alternative to the Georgia voting law is H.R. 1, the so-called “For the People Act.” A more accurate name would be the “For the Corrupt Politicians Act” because it is designed to make elections less secure and keep the Democratic Machine in power.
Furthermore, the Biden administration continues to claim that America is a systemically racist country. Following the announcement of the Minneapolis verdict, rather than emphasizing that the U.S. judicial system works, President Biden said that “systemic racism … is a stain [on] our nation’s soul.” Similar statements about America’s systemic racism were made in March in Anchorage, Alaska — not by a U.S. politician, but by the Chinese Communist Party.
Such false statements made by President Biden — and echoed by Vice President Harris, Secretary of State Tony Blinken, and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield — undermine American values. They represent a remarkable departure from President Trump’s America first policy. By putting America down, the Biden administration is putting Americans last.
If it were true that America was systemically racist against minorities, then there likely wouldn’t be an enormous crisis at the U.S. southern border. The Biden administration’s disillusioned border policies that enable and encourage illegal immigration have resulted in the largest influx of migrants at the southwestern border in 20 years. President Biden’s policies (and Vice President Harris’s inaction) have created a humanitarian, health, and security crisis at the border that puts Americans — and migrants — at risk.
The left’s continuous condemnation of the police and the skyrocketing crime rates in U.S. cities also put American lives at risk. As major U.S. cities saw the homicide rate increase by 33 percent last year and police units struggle with rising retirement rates, the radical left called for defunding the police and Biden pushed stricter gun control laws. Clearly the safety of Americans appears to be less important than virtue signaling.
All these policies do harm to America and don’t put Americans first. The Biden administration has already proven to be insufferably, deliberately, and totally dishonest. The past 100 days have been a tale of two stories. One is propped up by the elite media and based on big lies and the arrogance that crazy radical policies are empathetic. The other is rooted in the reality of the concerns and interests of real Americans.
The Hundred Days, What Does It All Mean?
You wouldn’t know it from the amount of attention President Trump seems to be paying to it, but the 100-day standard is not much of a guide to the future success of failure of a presidency. Ronald Reagan signed his signature tax cuts into law on his 206th day in office President Obama signed what would be known as Obamacare on the 368th day of his first term and JFK’s stellar performance in the Cuban Missile Crisis came after his 634th day in office.
Until the first part of the 20th century, when an historian, journalist or politico used the term “Hundred Days,” they usually meant Napoleon Bonaparte’s ill-fated frenetic activity from the time he escaped from Elba in 1815 until his permanent fall from power after the military defeat at Waterloo. As for American precedents there is no evidence that George Washington, who was well aware that he was establishing the basic norms of the new American presidency, thought there was anything significant about his first 14 weeks in office. It was the actions of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the 73rd Congress in 1933 that turned the meaning of the concept on its head, making it a symbol of executive success.
As historian Arthur Schlesinger—whose hugely influential “The Coming of the New Deal” (1959) chiseled the concept of “The Hundred Days” into historical marble—noted, Roosevelt himself did not come into office thinking there was something magical about his first 100 days as president. What he knew was that action was required to calm American fears and stabilize the financial system. Using a constitutional power intended for use in a national emergency, the president called Congress back for a special session. Five days later, after another presidential proclamation announcing a bank holiday and passage of the Banking Bill, Roosevelt thought he had done enough for the moment.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1932. (Credit: GraphicaArtis/Getty Images)
“Roosevelt,” Schlesinger noted, “had first thought of putting through the emergency banking legislation and sending Congress home.” No hundred days of activity, just five. But like any good politician𠅊nd thanks to ambitious aides who encouraged—he sensed an opportunity to move on other fronts associated with the Great Depression. He asked Congress to stay in session for what would be about 100 days and the flood of legislative and executive activity later enshrined as part of The Hundred Days ensued—the Economy Act, the Agricultural Adjustment Act, the Tennessee Valley Authority Act, the Home Owner’s Loan Act and the Glass-Steagall Banking Act, the National Recovery Act, the abandonment of the gold standard, the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps and beginning the process of overturning Prohibition by allowing the sale of beer and wine. Although the Roosevelt administration provided the push for these changes, most of this activity came in the form of legislation. FDR found he needed only to sign 9 executive orders through his Hundredth Day on June 11 (Presidential terms then started in early March). In other words, Congress, followed his lead.
That burst of presidential activity in 1933 has yet to be equaled by any subsequent president and arguably it would not be fair to judge any future president by that standard anyway. FDR’s Hundred Day phenomenon arose out of an almost unique political moment. President Herbert Hoover had left office as deeply unpopular as the newly𠄾lected Franklin Roosevelt was popular. The country was gripped with fear. The official unemployment rate was 25 percent as the only economic system the American people had ever known seemed in free fall. Meanwhile Democrats had increased their majorities in both houses of Congress and were ready to take their lead from the charismatic Roosevelt.
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Until Trump, presidents have been careful not to try to beat Roosevelt’s record. All modern presidents𠅎ven the unelected Gerald Ford who promised to end the “long national nightmare of Watergate”me into office promising change of some sort or another. The iconic presidents like JFK and Ronald Reagan signaled that the change would be lasting and alter the basic relationship of the American people and their government but none of them promised to get the work done fast. Indeed JFK was explicit about it. 𠇊ll this will not be finished in the first 100 days,” he famously said in his Inaugural Address. “Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.”
The fact that most presidents have understood how hard it is repeat FDR’s achievements hasn’t stopped the press and the public from assuming that the 100 Day mark somehow matters. Even Lyndon B. Johnson, who had unexpectedly become president as a result of the tragedy in Dallas, was asked not only to assess his first 100 Days but what slogan he might apply to his approach to governing. At a press conference in March 1964, LBJ replied, “I have had a lot of things to deal with the first 100 days, and I haven’t thought of any slogan, but I suppose all of us want a better deal, don’t we?”
After LBJ, presidents tended not to draw attention to the 100 Days, though they came to accept, seemingly grudgingly, that it signaled the end of the beginning of their administration and knew to expect 100-day assessments in the press. Richard Nixon didn’t acknowledge the standard on his hundredth day (Dwight D. Eisenhower for whom he had served as vice president had not been asked for a 100-day assessment at his press conferences in April 1953), though he did establish a different kind of standard, for music, by hosting that night perhaps the greatest jazz show ever at the White House in celebration of Duke Ellington’s seventieth birthday. Not willing to shy away from the Rooseveltian challenge, but knowing that his first weeks in office didn’t match up, Bill Clinton started talking up the importance of the Second Hundred Days. His successor, George W. Bush, simply made peace with the business. In spite of the fact that his chief political advisor Karl Rove believed that it was the first 180 days that mattered most—the length of the first session of Congress of the administration—George W. Bush acknowledged the existence of this guidepost by hosting a 𠇏irst Hundred Days Congressional Luncheon” in the Rose Garden.
Timothy Naftali is Clinical Associate Professor of History and Public Service at New York University.
First One Hundred Days - History
More was accomplished in the first 100 days of the Roosevelt Administraiton the almost any other period in US history. Fifteen major laws were passed during these 100 days.
There will probably never be another period like the first 100 days of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Administration. Never in U.S. history did the country face such enormous economic challenges. Furthermore, never had a new President taken office possessing such great self-confidence that he would be prepared to grapple with the breadth and depth of the nation's problems. That being said, Roosevelt knew he would have to move quickly. In addition, and most importantly, FDR understood he had to keep the press and public fully informed. So began the first 100 days of the Roosevelt administration.
The first morning after his inauguration, President Roosevelt met with the press. Two days later, FDR spoke to the American people in what would become the first of the 30 "Fireside Chats" he would give over the course of his four terms as President. Roosevelt also swiftly called the Congress into session, in what led to a whirlwind of legislative accomplishments.
The first bill to be passed during the Roosevelt administration was the Emergency Banking Act. The House passed the Act unanimously. Within a few days, the Act was passed the Senate and then signed into law. Another bill to cut back government salaries followed the Emergency Banking Act. The cutback bill passed, despite some unease on the part of Democrats. The repeal of the Volstead Act or "Prohibition" was the next piece of legislation raised. Congress quickly approved the Volstead Act as well. Next, Congress, (primarily elected on Roosevelt's coattails) voted in favor of a comprehensive Farm Bill. For any other President, these victories would have been enough. However, Franklin D. Roosevelt was just getting started.
With the first set of legislative accomplishments under his belt, FDR had Congress pass legislation authorizing the Civilian Conservation Corps, one of Roosevelt's groundbreaking ideas. Then, FDR succeeded in creating the Federal Emergency Relief Agency. After which, Roosevelt shepherded new legislation through Congress to regulate Wall Street. FDR's legislative vision and skill to implement innovative, effective programs went on and on. Roosevelt asked for and received authorization to create the Tennessee Valley Authority. The T.V.A. built dams and generated electricity for one of the most impoverished areas in the United States. FDR then convinced Congress to swiftly establish the Home Owners' Loan Corporation to stop the foreclosures of American homes.
Still, Roosevelt was not yet done. Before his first "Hundred Days" were over, Roosevelt requested and had approved a $3 billion "Public Works" bill and the "Glass-Steagall Act" to divest banks of investment. The Glass-Steagall Act included a Housing Act, as well as a Railroad Reorganization Act, and finally, the National Industrial Recovery Act.
In his first one hundred days, (that ended on June 16th,) FDR sent 15 special messages to the Congress. The Congress responded by enacting 15 landmark laws. If that was not enough, FDR pushed further and took the United States off of the "Gold Standard," and successfully convinced the second Bonus Army to disband.
What, Me Worry?
Biden and company have no idea what to do regarding Black Lives Matter and constantly placate them. Biden denies that Antifa in the U.S. even exists, referring to it as an “idea.” He also exhibits cowardice when it comes to taking a stand for truth, justice, and liberty, particularly when it comes to fair trials and upholding the law.
The roster of the ways in which Biden is failing the nation is beyond alarming. And, my God, what is his administration, or its remnants, going to bulldoze in another 1360 days?
Few people, even on the left, think he will last his full term. He will either die, have a complete cognitive break down, or otherwise be removed from office.
Kamala Harris, less qualified than the mentally impaired Biden, will make more ill-advised moves and serious blunders the Biden/Harris administration is a ship of fools.
The first 100 days: When did we start caring about them and why do they matter?
As we approach President Biden’s first 100 days in office many will use the occasion to evaluate his performance. Why 100 days? There is no constitutional or statutory significance to the first 100 days of a president’s term. In the first hundred and forty-four years of the Republic no one made a big deal about the 100-day mark. It is a somewhat arbitrary and artificial milestone. David Alexrod, a top aide to President Obama once called it a “Hallmark Holiday”—lots of attention but no significance.
So where did this come from and why do we still talk about it?
It came from the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Elected in the midst of a great depression, Roosevelt kept out of the fray during the long transition period between Election Day 1932 and Inauguration Day on March 4, 1933. According to historians, his sense of political theater led him to avoid President Hoover’s attempts to involve him in dealing with the overwhelming crises before the country. Thus he successfully orchestrated a complete break from the past and a new start with the American people.
FDR’s ability to talk to America is without equal in the 20 th century and in 1933 it was an especially dramatic contrast to the stern and uncaring policies of his predecessor Herbert Hoover, who had vetoed several relief bills. Roosevelt’s inaugural address is memorable for the phrase “we have nothing to fear but fear itself.” And less than two weeks after that he gave the first of many fireside chats—explaining over the radio, in simple terms, what was happening to Americans and how he would fix it.
But Roosevelt’s rhetoric and mastery of the new medium of radio were not what made him the president who is remembered for the first 100 days. It was the breathtaking scope of bold and new actions, both legislative and regulatory, that set the bar so high. To name but a few: in those 100 days he declared a bank holiday which stopped the disastrous run on the banks, he took America off the gold standard, and he passed groundbreaking legislation for farmers and homeowners and for the unemployed. He also passed amendments to the hated Volstead Act which had created prohibition. Immediately, “beer parties” were held all over the country in celebration.
Ever since, presidents have been evaluated for their performance in the first 100 days. Suffice it to say that few have lived up to Roosevelt. Ronald Reagan probably comes closest of all the presidents since then—a combination of skill and luck. His administration began with the release of the hostages that had been held in Iran by Islamic radicals. No clearer contrast could be drawn between him and the unlucky President Jimmy Carter, whose last year in office was clouded by the hostage crisis that he could not control and that he could not end. Although Reagan had little to do with ending the crisis, he came in with a clean slate.
At 100 days, where does President Biden stand with the public?
Why has President Biden been slow to embrace cannabis reform?
The fragile legacy of Barack Obama
Like Roosevelt, Reagan was a masterful communicator with a bold plan of action. While Roosevelt’s plans didn’t follow any coherent ideology—early on he was fiscally conservative while expanding the welfare state—Reagan’s plans did. Before becoming president he’d spent decades honing and preaching the conservative ideology that was to become such a powerful force in American politics and he believed he had a mandate to roll back the welfare state. Within weeks of his inauguration he had proposed a sweeping agenda “…in a package of proposals including 83 major program changes, 834 amendments to the budget this year and next, 151 lesser budgetary actions and 60 additional pieces of legislation.” In the middle of his first 100 days he survived an assassination attempt, adding to his mystique and increasing his popularity.
But few presidents get the sunny reviews accorded Roosevelt and Reagan in their first 100 days. Some presidents were praised simply for the fact that they were stylistically different from their predecessors. Jimmy Carter’s down-home humility was a refreshing contrast to the preceding “imperial presidency” of Richard Nixon. Kennedy and Clinton marked a generational change in the presidency that was, in each case, widely welcomed. And Obama’s cool intellectualism was a welcome contrast to George W. Bush’s penchant for butchering the language.
The first 100 days of the COVID-19 response: past investments in health security system pay off, and learning lessons for the future
On 27 January, Cambodia detected and confirmed its first case of COVID-19. Within 100 days, more than 2.5 million cases of COVID-19 were recorded globally with more than 200,000 deaths. During the same period, Cambodia detected and managed 122 cases, a comparatively small number next to the rest of the world. With zero COVID-19 related deaths and an absence of widespread community-level transmission to date, Cambodia has demonstrated an effective rapid response to the initial cases. A whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach, along with vigilant surveillance, laboratory, rapid response teams, and good collaboration between the Ministry of Heath and technical partners have all contributed to this successful response within the first 100 days. However, Cambodia is still at the early stages of the COVID-19 epidemic. Cambodia is making efforts to be alert and ready to respond to larger scale community transmission.
A Good Foundation
Over the last decade, with the support of WHO and partners, Cambodia has made important investments into the health security system in the country, which has enabled a robust response to the COVID-19 crisis. This capacity building has focused on the core systems of surveillance mechanisms that aim to detect and respond rapidly to infectious health threats and other acute public health events. This strengthened capacity was called into action when the first case was confirmed in Cambodia at the end of January 2020.
Cambodia&rsquos surveillance system includes event-based and indicator-based surveillance real-time databases and risk assessment mechanisms rapid response teams (RRTs) field epidemiology training national public health laboratory capacity and platforms for risk communications. Cambodia&rsquos health security system is led by the Communicable Disease Control (CDC) Department of the Ministry of Health (MOH) which also serves as the National Focal Point for the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005), a global system facilitated by WHO for information sharing, risk assessments, and coordinated and core capacity building. In the WHO Western Pacific Region, implementation of the IHR 2005 has been guided by the strategic framework called APSED III, the Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases and Public Health Emergencies.
Surveillance systems are essential for the early detection of cases and collection of epidemiological information that allows the analysis of risk of infectious disease spread in order to guide appropriate public health actions. Cambodia&rsquos existing surveillance and response systems contributed to the rapid COVID-19 response in the first 100 days after COVID-19 was first identified in Cambodia. The decisive detection, confirmation, isolation and treatment of the first case within four days of his entry from China on 27 January, highlights this achievement.
Since then a further 121 cases (for a total 122 cases, comprising of 38 women and 84 men) have been identified between late January and April 2020. Most have had mild or no symptoms, and there have been no deaths in the Kingdom of Cambodia. Over two-thirds of the cases (85) were considered imported as a result of infection acquired outside the country, and the rest were linked to one of these imported cases. Cases were detected in 13 provinces including the capital, Phnom Penh, affecting people of eight nationalities in addition to 34 Cambodians. On 21 and 22 May, two additional cases were identified in travellers &ndash one was the result of a new policy to screen and test all arriving passengers from international destinations and the other developed symptoms during their quarantine.
When WHO raised the alarm on a novel coronavirus identified in Wuhan, China, CDC/MOH immediately activated the surveillance and response system to be on high alert for people with respiratory symptoms (e.g. fever, dry cough, difficulty breathing) and a history of travel from China. The points of entry system, which involves quarantine officers at airports, ports and ground crossings, was enhanced to screen passengers for fever using thermal scanners, provide information about symptoms and care-seeking via distribution of health notice forms and posters, and collect health declaration cards.
Cambodia&rsquos early warning and response system, called CamEWARN, is an indicator-based system that collects aggregated information on seven disease syndromes, including respiratory infections, from all public health facilities in the country. In addition, the event-based system includes daily media monitoring for any reports and a national toll-free 115 hotline that the public can call to report suspected events in the community. The phones are manned by the rapid response teams (RRTs) spread across all 25 provinces. As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak response, the 115 hotline has been scaled up to respond to an increased number of calls and can now handle up to 10,000 calls if needed. The number of daily calls ranged from 600 to over 2,000 during the first 100 days of the outbreak.
Reliable, accurate and timely laboratory diagnostics are critical for mounting an appropriate response to COVID-19. In Cambodia, an effective specimen management system ensures samples are collected from suspected cases and referred to a designated COVID-19 testing laboratory for real-time testing to support case investigation, contact tracing and clinical management. The Institute Pasteur Cambodia (IP-C) and the National Institute of Public Health are the main testing labs while the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit-2 Detachment provides surge capacity. All testing and clinical care has been made available for free by government decision, as an important contribution to an equitable response and access for all, and also as a major contributor to ensuring outbreak control.
IP-C has recently been designated a WHO global referral laboratory for COVID-19 and provides reference functions such as assay validation, capacity building, data management and analysis, and culture and sequencing of the virus. To date, over 14,000 samples have been tested in Cambodia.
The RRTs are comprised of 2,910 trained public health staff at national, provincial, district and health centre levels. They are responsible for investigating and verifying reported calls to the hotline. This, however, is only one of their roles. They have also undertaken contract tracing including for five &ldquoclusters&rdquo or groups of linked COVID-19 cases.
Contact tracing is the process by which people who have been in contact with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases are first identified through a detailed record of the case&rsquos movements during the infectious period before they showed symptoms. These contacts are then encouraged to self-quarantine by staying in one place and refraining from direct contact with others, during which time their health is monitored daily.
As advised by WHO, contact tracing and management is the key public health strategy during the early phase of the response efforts when containment of the epidemic is possible. As cases are confirmed, the provincial health departments and RRTs are mobilized to locate the case and interview them about their movements during the 14 days before diagnosis and to draw up a list of possible contacts. It is medical detective work.
National surveillance team collecting samples from a high-risk group
RRTs take detailed information on these contacts&rsquo movements. Close contacts are quarantined for 14 days, during which they may develop symptoms if they are infected. Samples from nose and throat are collected from close contacts and tested on the first and 14th day for COVID-19. Other contacts have no restrictions imposed on their movements but are monitored for 14 days to see if they develop any respiratory symptoms.
This has been a laborious process with over 2,300 contacts traced and 27 new cases identified by the RRTs and national team based at CDC/MOH.
Cluster Management and &ldquoHotspot&rdquo Hunting
During the course of the first 100 days of the pandemic in Cambodia, the MOH&rsquos surveillance and response system has been supported by WHO, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, IP-C and other technical partner agencies to ensure containment of the spread of COVID-19. In these first 100 days, five major clusters of the disease were identified, which means that a number of COVID-19 cases are associated with exposure to the same source of infection.
The first of these was the Viking Mekong river cruise which came from Vietnam with three positive cases, plus a further four cases among the close contacts who were quarantined in Kampong Cham Province. A second group consisted of 34 cases who acquired COVID-19 as a result of attending a large religious gathering in Malaysia, and then passed it on to an additional nine close contacts across 12 provinces. A third cluster comprised 31 positive cases amongst a French tour group in Preah Sihanouk with a further eight cases amongst their close contacts. The fourth group was the result of one case acquired in Thailand who passed it on to four additional contacts. The fifth cluster was associated with a returning Chinese traveller from Guangzhou who transmitted the infection to four individuals with whom he had close contact.
The approach of &ldquohotspot&rdquo hunting to conduct pre-emptive specimen testing amongst possible contacts in a focused geographic area is a form of modified contract tracing which was employed to ensure a thorough search for possible additional contacts. Each of these clusters of cases could have easily resulted in a much wider spread of COVID-19. But this did not happen. This is in no small part because of intensive contact tracing management by Cambodia CDC/MOH-led surveillance team who, on a daily basis, diligently contacted and followed up on hundreds of those who were exposed to the cases of COVID-19.
Existing Surveillance Systems as the Foundation
In addition to the surveillance systems for emerging diseases already described, there is also a long-established influenza surveillance system that identifies influenza (ILI) and severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) cases at 15 hospitals around the country. This is part of the global influenza system, managed by WHO called the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS), which aims to quickly detect cases of respiratory disease that may subsequently develop in to a larger outbreak.
The symptoms of influenza and COVID-19 are similar, and so influenza surveillance has been integrated so that all influenza samples are also tested for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. These systems together provide an overall picture of transmission of infection in the community. Any changes in the numbers of 115 hotline calls, trends in reported respiratory cases or COVID-19 positive specimens can be information for early indicators of community-level spread of the disease, which can then be used to inform the next phase of the response.
A Coordinated Response
Sub-committee on COVID-19 members meet with a private clinic
Cambodia has been working hard to prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic beyond the surveillance system. The country has made great efforts in mobilizing a whole-of-government and a whole-of-society approach under the leadership of Samdech Prime Minister, including the establishment of national and provincial multisectoral committees to combat the pandemic. Under the leadership of the Health Minister and with the support of WHO and partners, the National Master Plan has been developed to prepare for a potential large-scale community transmission scenario. Priority actions in nine key areas (incident management and planning, surveillance and risk assessment, laboratory, clinical management and health care services, infection prevention and control (IPC), non-pharmaceutical public health measures, risk communication, points of entry, and operational logistics) have been identified and are being implemented in line with WHO recommendations and in collaboration with many partners.
100 Days Later
Cambodia&rsquos effective rapid response to the initial 122 cases (as of 20 April) and the fact that the country has not seen widespread community-level transmission of COVID-19 to date can be attributed to the hard work of the surveillance and laboratory teams, and RRTs who have quickly identified and diagnosed cases and closely followed-up their contacts to prevent further spread of the virus. The investment of many years in strengthening the health security system in Cambodia contributes to this successful containment effort. It has bought the rest of the health system, and the society, time to better prepare for a potential larger outbreak of COVID-19. The fact that there have been no healthcare worker infections or health facility outbreaks in the first 100 days speaks to a good implementation of IPC and clinical management at health care facilities.
COVID-19 is a new disease with many unknowns and there remains great uncertainty as to how the pandemic will eventually play out around the world. The learning and experience from the first cases of COVID-19 in Cambodia have strengthened the country&rsquos capacity for future containment and mitigation efforts. It is vital for Cambodia to continue to strengthen multi-source surveillance at both national and provincial levels as response decision-making requires data and access to information. Surveillance and response strategies may be adjusted at the different stage of COVID-19 transmission.
Vigilance for the future
Even though Cambodia has so far contained the virus from spreading within its borders, it remains vital for the country to be prepared for the continuing response to COVID-19 as well as future health threats in Cambodia. The risk of COVID-19 spreading in the country remains high as importations are still possible, since many other countries have ongoing community-level transmission. The pandemic is far from over &ndash it will only be over when the whole world has stopped transmission. This means that we must continue to strengthen the core public health system and health care readiness during this window of opportunity before a future wave. Focus areas for the near future are: points of entry such as airports and land border crossings expanding respiratory diseases surveillance enhancing laboratory, surveillance and response capacities at provincial, district and community levels and continuously improving risk communications as the situation evolves.
As highlighted by the WHO Representative to Cambodia, Dr Li Ailan, in her recent remarks, &ldquoThe people of Cambodia should be aware of three important things. Firstly, be vigilant. Secondly, be a champion for the &ldquonew normal&rdquo and lastly, be ready for emergency response in the future.&rdquo
Cambodia is still at the early stages of the COVID-19 epidemic, and is making efforts to prepare to respond to larger scale outbreaks of COVID-19. Working together, WHO and the RGC seek to minimise the health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19 on the people of Cambodia, through investment in a stronger heath system including the core public health surveillance and response system.
Key Contact: Asheena Khalakdina
Title: Country Team Leader
Contact: [email protected]
American History: Roosevelt and His 'Hundred Days'
DOUG JOHNSON: Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English. I'm Doug Johnson with Mario Ritter. This week in our series, we talk about the first one hundred days of the administration of President Franklin Roosevelt.
Roosevelt's inauguration speech in March of nineteen thirty-three gave hope to millions of Americans. The new president promised to fight the Great Depression that was crushing the economy.
His administration launched into action even before the inauguration ceremonies were finished. Back then, newly elected presidents were sworn into office in March instead of January.
Roosevelt's aides began work even as he and his wife, Eleanor, watched the traditional Inaugural Parade. The lights of Washington's federal office buildings burned late that night.
And not just on that night, but the next night and the next night, too. The nation was in crisis. There was much work to do.
MARIO RITTER: The first three months of Franklin Roosevelt's administration were an exciting time. Roosevelt got Congress to pass more pieces of important legislation during this short period than most presidents pass during their entire term. These three months are remembered today as the "Hundred Days."
Sunday, March fifth, was the day after the inauguration. Roosevelt asked Congress to begin a special meeting later that week. And he ordered all the nation's banks to close until the economy improved. Roosevelt also banned the export of gold.
Congress met on Thursday, as Roosevelt had asked. It passed everything that the new president wanted. Both the House and Senate approved Roosevelt's strong new banking laws in less than eight hours. Roosevelt signed the bills into law the same day.
DOUG JOHNSON: The next day, Friday, Roosevelt called on Congress to cut federal spending. Once again, Congress met and approved Roosevelt's request immediately.
Two nights later, Roosevelt spoke to the nation in a radio speech. His warm, powerful voice traveled to millions of homes. He gave many listeners the hope that they could once again trust their banks and political leaders.
On Monday, Roosevelt called on Congress to make it legal to sell beer and wine and to tax those sales. At that time there was a national ban on alcohol. But once again Congress agreed.
Roosevelt's success in passing these laws excited the nation. People across the country watched in wonder as the new president fought and won battle after battle.
MARIO RITTER: Washington was filled with activity. The air was full of energy, like a country sky during an electrical storm. People from around the country rushed to the capital to urge the administration to support their ideas.
Bankers came by the thousands to win favorable legislation. Experts of all kinds offered new ideas on how to rescue the economy. Ambassadors came from Britain, France, Brazil, Chile, China and many other countries. They came to speak with Roosevelt on economic and diplomatic issues.
And members of Roosevelt's Democratic Party arrived by the thousands. They came to seek jobs in the new administration.
Americans watched closely what was happening in Washington. And they liked what they saw. They had voted for action. Now, Roosevelt was giving them action.
DOUG JOHNSON: One of the most important areas of action for the new administration was agriculture. American farmers had been hurt more than any other group by the economic depression.
The average income of American farmers had dropped in three years from one hundred sixty-two dollars a year to just forty-eight dollars. Farm prices had fallen fifty-five percent. The buying power of the average farmer had dropped by more than half.
Many farmers could not even earn enough money to pay for their tools and seed.
The main cause of the problems for farmers was that they were producing too much. There was too much grain, too much meat, too much cotton. As a result, prices stayed low. The situation was good for people in cities who bought farm products. But it was a disaster for the farmers who produced those products.
MARIO RITTER: Franklin Roosevelt attacked the problem by limiting production. His administration put a new tax on grain products. The tax increased their price and reducing demand. The administration paid cotton farmers to destroy some of their crops. And it bought and killed five million pigs to reduce the amount of meat on the market.
It was a strange situation. Some Americans had trouble understanding the economic reason why food had to be destroyed so people could have enough to eat. But more officials agreed that this was the only way to limit supply, raise prices and save farmers.
The plan worked. Production quickly fell. Hot weather and bad harvests in nineteen thirty-three and nineteen thirty-four reduced the amount of grain even more. As a result, prices rose. Farm income increased fifty percent in four years.
DOUG JOHNSON: The administration also attacked the problem of falling industrial production.
At the time of Roosevelt's inauguration, the production of American goods had fallen by more than half in just four years. Business owners reacted by cutting their costs. They lowered wages and reduced their number of workers. But these actions only reduced the number of people with enough money to buy goods. And so production went down further and further.
Roosevelt created a National Recovery Administration that sought to gain the cooperation of businesses. Many business owners agreed to follow codes or rules such as limiting the number of hours people could work. They also agreed to raise wages and to stop hiring child labor. And they agreed to improve working conditions and to cooperate with labor unions.
At the same time, Roosevelt created a Public Works Administration to provide jobs to unemployed workers. The federal government put people to work on building dams, bridges, water systems and other major projects.
MARIO RITTER: On monetary policy, Roosevelt and the Congress decided that the dollar should no longer be tied to the price of gold.
Other action in Washington included a bill for homeowners that helped many Americans borrow money to save their homes. And a bank insurance bill guaranteed that Americans would not lose their savings. This insurance greatly increased public faith in the banks.
Roosevelt and Congress created a Civilian Conservation Corps to put young men to work in rural areas to protect the nation's natural resources. These young men did things like plant trees and improve parks. They also worked with farmers to develop farming methods that help protect the soil against wind and rain.
DOUG JOHNSON: One of Roosevelt's most creative projects was a plan to improve the area around the southern state of Tennessee. The Tennessee River Valley was a very poor area. Few farms had electricity. Forests were thin. Floods were common.
Roosevelt and Congress decided to attack all of these problems with a single project. The new Tennessee Valley Authority built dams, cleared rivers, expanded forests and provided electricity. It succeeded in helping farmers throughout the area, creating new life and hope.
MARIO RITTER: The "Hundred Days" -- the first three months of the Roosevelt administration -- were a great success. One reporter for the New York Times observed that the change from President Herbert Hoover to Franklin Roosevelt was like a man moving from a slow horse to an airplane. Suddenly, the nation was moving again. There was action everywhere.
Journalist Frederick Allen described the situation this way. The difference between Roosevelt's program and the Hoover program was sharp. Roosevelt's program was not a program of defense, but of attack. There was a new willingness to expand the limits of government. In most of the laws, there was a new push for the good of the "common man." There was a new effort to build wealth from the bottom up, rather than from the top down.
Read the Full Transcript
President Joe Biden is approaching his first 100 days in office this week. It's a benchmark every president has been measured by for the better part of a century. But where did it begin and what does it really tell us about how a president will govern? Special Correspondent Jeff Greenfield walks us through this presidential milestone.
President Franklin Roosevelt:
This nation asks for action, and action now!
It began here. On March 4, 1933 when Franklin Roosevelt took the oath of office at the depths of a savage Depression. And that "bold executive action" he promised began almost immediately.
Two days after that Inaugural, FDR declared a "bank holiday" stopping a panic that threatened to collapse America's financial structure. Six days later, he gave his first fireside chat to explain what he was doing.
I want to talk for a few minutes with the people of the United States about banking.
Then, with huge Congressional majorities, Roosevelt began to vastly broaden the scope of federal action: a new agency to save family farms&hellipa Civilian Conservation Corps to put people to work planting trees and cleaning rivers the start of a public works program that would ultimately build dams and electrify rural America.
Within a hundred days, 15 major pieces of legislation had been passed, and a benchmark for all future Presidents was set.
But does a President's first 100 days really tell us much about how the next four years will emerge? The answer seems to be a not entirely satisfying: sometimes yes, sometimes no.
We did learn a lot about Donald Trump's highly unconventional approach to the presidency. The day after the inaugural, he sent his press secretary out to argue that the crowds were much bigger than the visual evidence suggested. Within a week, a travel ban from mostly Muslim nations caused chaos at America's airports&mdashearly clues about how his Presidency would evolve.
But other early signals can be misleading. The ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 to overthrow Cuba's Fidel Castro happened just about 100 days into John Kennedy's Presidency. But it may have taught him the value of prudence during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, when nuclear war was a real possibility.
Ronald Reagan found good fortune in his very first hour in office when he was able to announce an end to the Iranian hostage captivity.
Fifty two. And I just won't call them hostages. They were prisoners of war.
He almost did not survive to his hundredth day, but his recovery from an attempted assassination helped give him the goodwill to get his major tax program passed, even with a Democratic House of Representatives.
Sometimes, events themselves completely overshadow a President's first days. George W. Bush presided over a relatively placid world in his first seven months&hellip and then ..the horror of a September morning defined the rest of his days, with wars in Afghanistan and then Iraq.
So what have we learned from President Biden's first 100 days? Well, one of his goals&mdash200 million vaccinations has been achieved &mdashbut as for his ambitious, expansive attempts to expand the scope of the government in areas from poverty to health care to climate change those so far, are intentions. How well he fulfills them? That's up to the next several hundred days.
The First 100 Days: 'A Standard That Not Even Roosevelt Achieved'
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Emergency Banking Act into law on March 9, 1933. Roosevelt signed a record 15 major pieces of legislation in the first 100 days of his presidency. AP hide caption
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Emergency Banking Act into law on March 9, 1933. Roosevelt signed a record 15 major pieces of legislation in the first 100 days of his presidency.
The idea of measuring an American president by the accomplishments of his first 100 days in office goes back to 1933 and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's dash to staunch a banking crisis and pull America out of the Great Depression.
In a July 24, 1933, fireside chat, he assessed the early months of his administration.
"I think that we all wanted the opportunity of a little quiet thought to examine and assimilate in a mental picture the crowding events of the hundred days which had been devoted to the starting of the wheels of the New Deal," Roosevelt said.
He had signed a record 15 major pieces of legislation in those first 100 days. But it's not as simple as the legend would make it seem.
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"Presidents since Roosevelt have been held up to a standard that not even Roosevelt achieved," said historian Patrick Maney, a professor at Boston College who has written books about Presidents Clinton and FDR.
So Maney is on something of a quixotic mission to set the record straight. The idea of Roosevelt coming into office with a big agenda and a compliant Congress is a myth, he says.
President Trump signs an executive order in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Friday. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP hide caption
President Trump signs an executive order in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Friday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
"Only two or, at most, three of those measures actually originated in the White House," Maney said of the 15 major pieces of legislation signed by Roosevelt. "Almost all the rest had originated in Congress and many — including federal relief for the unemployed, the Tennessee Valley Authority — had been up for debate for years."
Roosevelt, initially at least, opposed the creation of the FDIC. Now it is one of the enduring legacies of his first 100 days.
So in Maney's view it wasn't just about the president it was about Congress too. And that's a lesson many presidents have learned over time — that their greatest domestic achievements come not from the White House but from their ability to work with the 535 people down at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. And often it takes a long time.
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Social Security was created two years after Roosevelt took office. The major immigration and tax legislation during President Reagan's administration didn't come until nearly 6 years in. Welfare reform happened in President Clinton's second term.
Put another way, the presidency is a long game. That's what President Kennedy argued in his inaugural address after laying out an ambitious agenda.
Ron's Office Hours
"All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days," Kennedy said. "Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin."
During his first 100 days, Kennedy authorized the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. Reagan was nearly killed in an assassination attempt after little more than two months in office.
Clinton's first 100 days were almost universally seen as a disaster. There were withdrawn nominations, an economic stimulus plan that died before it got off the ground and a debate over gays in the military that distracted from the rest of his agenda.
Yet, when Clinton left office eight years later, he had a 66 percent approval rating.
For President George W. Bush the first 100 days ended as a work in progress, with his education and tax legislation still awaiting congressional approval.
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"We've had some good debates, we've made some good progress, and it looks like we're going to pass some good law," he said at a luncheon for lawmakers to mark the 100-day marker — though he had mightily resisted what he considered the arbitrary milestone.
At that point, the late journalist Daniel Schorr summed up Bush this way on NPR's Talk of the Nation: "If you say, what has he done in 100 days, not much."
Of course, Bush's time in office isn't defined by laws or taxes, but by events no one could have predicted at the end of his first 100 days.
Like Bush, Trump has resisted the 100-day mark.
But that tweet belied a frantic effort by the president and his administration to prove they've had a successful first 100 days (complete with a press release describing his accomplishments as "historic"). The problem for Trump is not that he's come up short of Roosevelt, but that he's come up short of his own promises made during the campaign, with a specific reference to achieving those things within the first 100 days.