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MHE509 Discussion Response

Discussion Requirements

A substantive comment should be approximately 300 words or more for each response (A total of 1 response).

Read the initial comments posted by your classmates and reflect upon them.

Before writing your comments:

  • Review the Discussion grading rubric to see what is expected for an excellent discussion, in order to earn full credit.
  • Review some resources to help you synthesize, such as the following:

Sullivan, J. (2011). Strategies for Synthesis Writing. Retrieved from

NOTE: You are required to cite sources and include a reference list for the second post if it is simply your opinion. However, if your opinion is based on facts (as it should be), it is good practice to strengthen your position by citing sources.

Be sure to meet all of the criteria in the rubric, as noted in the instructions above.

Third post for each module discussion:

Read the initial and secondary comments posted by your classmates and reflect upon them.

Directly respond to at least one classmate in a way that extends meaningful discussions, adds new information, and/or offers alternative perspectives.



Classmates and Professor,

COVID-19 Healthcare Emergency in the United States

Covid-19 pandemic is an emergency that has hit the United States. The healthcare department has significantly been affected and the challenges faced have helped define necessary actions for healthcare disaster management. The unprecedented occurrence of the pandemic has positioned healthcare practitioners, patients, and families at the risk of contracting the virus. Healthcare workers have been provided with safety equipment to ensure minimal direct contact cases with the virus.

As a healthcare emergency disaster, poor communication has hampered essential operations. In the early stages of the pandemic, the government ignored the threats posed by the virus, and vital restrictions were ignored. This was after the health department in the United States reported the possibility of the virus, but much was not done to ensure that the threat was contained within its initial stages. With reports of its origin from China, the health and security departments ought to have reacted quickly and assess the danger and possible means of preventing its spread across the country (Lange et al., 2020). However, with poor communication among essential departments, including security and healthcare units, the virus began to spread from one state to another.

In 2020, the U.S faced a spike of Covid-19 infections, with high death rates being recorded daily. At some time, the country had the highest number of deaths recorded daily compared to other parts of the world. The health system faced immense pressure, and it was stretched beyond its capacity. So far, the number of deaths recorded in the country is an average of 600,147, with 33,715,951 virus cases. The Novel Coronavirus has caused a substantial disruption to the American economy (Hartnett et al., 2020). With lockdowns on central states, a majority of Americans have had to work at home where various businesses have been temporarily closed for the period the pandemic was on a spike. Lawmakers have enacted significant bills costing an upward of $ 5.3 trillion to assist handle the economic burdens on businesses and families. $174 billion has been set aside to enhance Covid-19 testing, vaccination, and contact tracing. In March 2020, $8.3 billion was set aside for vaccine research and funding health agencies (Chudik et al., 2020).

An action that could have prevented the problems above would be the containment of U.S borders the moment the initial Covid-19 infections were reported. This could have allowed the healthcare department to carry out efficient contact tracing while the number of conditions was minimum. This was feasible with the collaboration of state agencies such as the security and immigration departments. Since it had been established that the virus was transmitted through direct contact with a person, surface, and airborne transmission, public sensitizations ought to have been carried out at the moment, ensuring that citizens observed the set healthcare guidelines.



Chudik, A., Mohaddes, K., Pesaran, M. H., Raissi, M., & Rebucci, A. (2020, October 20). Economic consequences of Covid-19: a counterfactual multi-country analysis. Retrieved from The Forum ERF Policy Portal:…

Hartnett, K. P., Kite-Powell, A., DeVies, J., Coletta, M. A., Boehmer, T. K., Adjemian, J., & Gundlapalli, A. V. (2020, June 2020). Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Emergency Department Visits—United States, January 1, 2019–May 30, 2020. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 69(23), 699.

Lange, S. J., Ritchey, M. D., Goodman, A. B., Dias, T., Twentyman, E., Fuld, J., … & Yang, Q. (2020, June 26). Potential indirect effects of the COVID‐19 pandemic on use of emergency departments for acute life‐threatening conditions—United States, January–May 2020. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 69(25), 795-800.


Classmate and Professor,

The PEPCON fertilizer explosion is a good example of a disaster that was made worse by substandard communication. In 1988, the rocket fuel production facility called PEPCON had an overage of their rocket fuel due to NASA’s suspension of buying rocket fuel after the 1986 Challenger disaster. PEPCON’s facility wasn’t equipped as a rocket fuel storage facility because they manufactured and shipped their product in timely manner. But since NASA didn’t buy their product and said they would as soon as the Challenger investigation was complete, PEPCON stored its excess rocket fuel in improper manner. On May 4, 1988 a welding accident caused a small fire that eventually grew out of control. Once the handheld fire suppression was deemed unable to stop the fire and likely upcoming explosion, the decision was made to abandon the facility. In the next 10 minutes the fire burned uncontrolled and fire department personnel were sent to the facility. These fire fighters were told to stop and hunker down as the explosion was imminent, and a minute later the first of 3 explosions occurred. The first explosion destroyed the rocket fuel factory, and set the makeshift rocket fuel storage facility on fire. It exploded 5 minutes later with a yield of approximately 1 kiloton worth of explosive power or about 1/12th the force of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. This explosion injured a number of firefighters, and destroyed the towns repeater stations for their Fire/ Police radios, inhibiting communications. The second and third explosions took the raw chemical ingredient to make the rocket fuel and tossed it into the air, causing a haze of chemicals in the air acting as a respiratory and eye irritant (Lilly, 2012). This was known in the town center and to the local Henderson NV police /fire department, but the National Guard, Las Vegas fire and rescue, and county police were later hospitalized for these irritants.

There are multiple problems that could have been fixed; single repeater location being closer to the rocket fuel production facility is the easiest to see. The aborted attempt for the fire department getting closer to the site only to be told to not get too close due to imminent explosion is another flaw, but not one that can be easily fixed since it was a pair of judgement calls. But lack of published plan across the state for responding to the rocket fuel fire/explosion would have identified that the raw ingredients and byproducts of the explosion would be a breathing hazard. The local fire and police knew that the rocket fuel production facility had certain chemicals and were able to pass on word to each other about the need for masks and eye protection. But without an MSDS, NIOSH or ERG to reference on, the non-local rescue workers would have had less numbers of those with eye and lung injuries.

The fire department sending their rapid response closer to the explosion ended up with 15 people injured and 2x fire trucks inoperable, the chemical irritant was endemic and hit ¼ of the town of Henderson; the local hospitals were inundated by people with their eyes/lungs being irritated as well as blast injuries as broken glass was throw into people’s homes as the multiple explosions shattered every pane of glass in the town. The cost to the out-of-town rescuers in their eye/lung irritation can’t be measured, since it didn’t kill people and merely tied up hospitals resources triaging them.

Implementing the fix of no warning of breathing irritants is feasible; it could have been put out at the same time the national guard was activated that they should deploy with their M40 Chemical Protective masks. Out of town fire department and police could have been told to stop by their local hardware store for eye protection and masks before coming to Henderson.



Lilly, S. (2012, November). From Rockets to Ruins.


Module 4 – Background


Required Reading

Bier, D., & Feeney, M. (2018). Drones on the border: Efficacy and privacy implications. CATO Institute. Retrieved from…

Microsoft Excel Tutorial for Beginners #1 – Overview. Retrieved from

National Incident Management System, 3rd. ed. (2017), FEMA, Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved from…

Shiu-Thornton et al. (2007). Disaster preparedness for limited English proficient communities: Medical Interpreters as cultural brokers and gatekeepers. Public Health Reports, 122(4), 466-471. Retrieved from…

Unmanned systems integrated roadmap FY2011 – 2036 (2011). Retrieved from….

Required Video

Just in Time Disaster Training Library. [nfrdstf]. (2013, September 25). Radiological terrorism: Training for hospital clinicians [Video file]. Retrieved from

Required Websites

California Earthquake Program.…

Disaster Emergency Communications Division, FEMA:…

FEMA: National Response Framework.…

Preparing Hospitals for Disasters: Emergency Operations Plan (EOP).…

Radiological dispersal devices (RDDs). Radiation Emergency Medical Management, HHS.

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