By Allan Lengel
WASHINGTON — Lawmakers didn’t mask their annoyance Thursday during a subcommittee hearing with Homeland Security’s undersecretary of management Elaine C. Duke.
“Your excuses are lame when you say you’re following the medical advice,” the subcommittee chairman, Stephen F. Lynch, (D-Mass.) told Duke, according to a report in the Washington Post.
The flap was over masks.
Lawmakers criticized the department for failing to authorize protective face masks for employees working the U.S.-Mexico border during the swine flu outbreak, the Post reported.
“Some suggested that the department had placed bureaucratic considerations ahead of the health and safety of its workers,” the Post reported.
Duke said Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano made the decision not to issue masks based on recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other government agencies.