In support of the fight against the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia, the United States Government, through the U. S. Army Engineers, has completed its third Ebola Treatment Unit in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.Speaking at the tour of the new facility last Friday, Major General Gary Volesky, commander of the 101st Airborne Division, explained that, this is the first Ebola treatment unit built completely by the U.S. Army Engineers to help in caring for Ebola patients.Maj. Gen. Volesky explained that the facility has the capacity of 100 beds. The construction lasted 23 days with the materials being procured both locally and abroad.He expressed gratitude to the Own Your Own community for their collaboration with the U.S. Army and support in the construction of the Ebola treatment unit.According to Maj. Gen. Volesky, “Three of the Ebola treatment units have been completed, including Bomi, Tubmanburg city, Sinje in Grand Cape Mount, and this one in Buchanan, Grand Bassa. A total of 17 Ebola units are expected to be built across Liberia.”Also speaking, the Head of Ebola Disaster Assistant Response Team (DART) from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Mia Beers, said they are currently working to ensure the first 15 Ebola treatment units are built across Liberia. She explained that due to the nature of the epidemic in Liberia, the U.S. Government is focusing on building the first 15 units but will make sure that ETUs are in all of the counties to support the fight against Ebola.“We want to make sure that these Ebola treatment units are built in the 15 counties to help access rural areas and make sure that we follow the transmission of the outbreak in all parts of Liberia and be able to fight it.”Ms. Beers said they are working with the Government of Liberia, especially with the new strategies of fighting Ebola with emphasis on rural areas on how to put in place mechanisms to contain the virus.She further explained that the most important thing is to have a rapid team out there working with county officials to ensure that every county can respond as quickly as possible to any outbreak in the area.She continued, “We have different ETU plans in the Southeast, including Fish Town, Greenville, River Cess, most importantly to look at health strategizes in the various counties in the fight against Ebola. Rapid teams can really help us in the process. We are chasing after the suspected cases also in the southeastern areas, because they are hard to reach. “We are getting the rapid team setups from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the various county officials, and other partners as well as air transport to handle these cases.”The Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), Brig/Gen Daniel Ziankahn, said they are working in collaboration with the U.S. Army in supporting the fight against the Ebola virus, including the construction of Ebola Treatment Units across Liberia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
By The Associated PressFacing the possibility of prison at 81, Bill Cosby arrived at a suburban Philadelphia courthouse Tuesday to learn his punishment for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman over a decade ago in what became the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era.Prosecutors on September 24 asked a judge to give the comedian five to 10 years behind bars, while his lawyers asked for house arrest, saying the legally blind Cosby is too old and helpless to do time in prison.Bill Cosby will learn today what his punishment will be after being convicted of sexual assault. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said the former TV star planned to remain silent when given the opportunity to address the court. Cosby did not testify at either of his two trials.The once-beloved entertainer dubbed America’s Dad for his role as Dr. Cliff Huxtable on the top-ranked, 1980s-era “Cosby Show” faced anywhere from probation to 10 years in prison for violating Temple University women’s basketball administrator Andrea Constand at his estate near Philadelphia in 2004. She went to police a year later, only to have a prosecutor turn down the case.In the years since Constand first went to police in 2005, more than 60 women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct, though none of those claims have led to criminal charges.Cosby became the first celebrity of the #MeToo era to be convicted.Tuesday’s sentencing was a reckoning accusers and prosecutors said was decades in the making.“The victims cannot be un-raped. Unfortunately, all we can do is hold the perpetrator accountable,” said Gianna Constand, the victim’s mother, who testified Monday that her daughter’s buoyant personality was forever changed after the attack.The hearing was set to conclude Tuesday after testimony from a defense psychologist who says Cosby is no longer a danger, given his age, and should not be branded a “sexually violent predator.”Defense lawyer Joseph Green Jr. urged the judge ignore the protests and activism surrounding the case, and send Cosby home on house arrest.“The suggestion that Mr. Cosby is dangerous is not supported by anything other than the frenzy,” Green said as demonstrators gathered outside the courthouse.Being labeled a sexually violent predator would make him subject to mandatory lifetime counseling and community notification of his whereabouts.On Monday, Kristen Dudley, a psychologist for the state of Pennsylvania, testified that Cosby fits the criteria for a sexually violent predator, showing signs of a mental disorder that involves an uncontrollable urge to have nonconsensual sex with young women.Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said Cosby would no doubt commit similar crimes if given the chance, warning that the former TV star seemingly gets a sexual thrill out of slipping women drugs and assaulting them.“To say that he’s too old to do that — to say that he should get a pass, because it’s taken this long to catch up to what he’s done?” Steele said, his voice rising. “What they’re asking for is a ‘get out of jail free’ card.”Cosby, he said, has shown repeatedly that he feels no remorse over his actions. And he said the sentence should send a message.“Despite bullying tactics, despite PR teams and other folks trying to change the optics, as one lawyer for the defense put it, the bottom line is that nobody’s above the law. Nobody,” the district attorney said.After testifying for several hours at two trials, the first of which ended in a hung jury, Constand spoke in court Monday for just two minutes.“The jury heard me. Mr. Cosby heard me. Now all I am asking for is justice as the court sees fit,” said Andrea Constand, who submitted a much longer victim-impact statement that wasn’t read in court.The AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly, which Constand and other accusers have done.Cosby’s side didn’t call any character witnesses, and his wife of 54 years, Camille, was not in court.Cosby became the first Black actor to star in a prime-time TV show, “I Spy,” in 1965. He remained a Hollywood A-lister for much of the next half-century.Monday’s proceedings took place as another extraordinary #MeToo drama continued to unfold on Capitol Hill, where Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh faces allegations of sexual misconduct from more than three decades ago.