Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham recently announced she would be nominating outgoing Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen, 59, as her new cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) after Dr. David Scrase of the Human Services Department remained as acting director.
Scrase’s tenure came after the departure of Secretary Tracie C. Collins, who was only confirmed by the state Senate in 2021. Since the beginning of her regime, Lujan Grisham has constantly had personnel and cabinet members flee or be forced out after short tenures.
Allen, an appointee of unpopular lame-duck Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, is being forced out of a job in Oregon as incoming Democrat Gov. Tina Kotek pledged to oust the controversial cabinet chief who was making a hefty $253,308 a year. Kotek’s win prompted his resignation, writing that he was “sad to be leaving this work behind.”
Now, Lujan Grisham has scooped him up to head her NMDOH, writing that Allen “shares my vision of a New Mexico that fosters better health outcomes for every resident of our beautiful state.” It is unclear what his salary will be in his new gig.
Allen claimed he was “proud” of his COVID-19 response in Oregon, despite abysmal pandemic policies that resulted in child suicides, increased deaths, and economic catastrophe. He also said he moved toward “health equity” to coerce people of color (Latino, Black, African American, and African Immigrants) into getting jabbed against the virus.
Despite this, in his resignation letter, he wrote to Brown regarding her lockdowns, “You have made hard choices that enabled us to save thousands of people in Oregon and navigate the worst health crisis our nation has faced in more than a century. I appreciate the integrity of your leadership and all the support you’ve given me and the staff at OHA.”
Similar to Lujan Grisham, Allen also shamed residents of his soon-to-be former state of Oregon for not abiding by the extreme COVID lockdown measures enacted by Brown, as evidenced below:
In actuality, Allen has no experience in public health before Brown’s appointment, with a background on a local Sherwood planning commission. His degree in economics from Oregon State University, with no public health focus. He also is not an osteopath or medical doctor.
According to the Oregon Capital Chronicle, the Oregon Health Authority, under his leadership, “has failed to help people with mental health and addiction problems, critics say. They point out it has been slow to distribute more than $1 billion to create behavioral health programs and new facilities, as well as addiction treatment networks as part of the rollout of Measure 110, Oregon’s drug decriminalization measure that included a plan to step up treatment. In national studies, the state has repeatedly had the highest or close to the highest rate of people with mental health and addiction problems in national studies.”
According to the Chronicle, “Allen had a ‘serious’ fall on Jan. 23 and was hospitalized, according to a news release from the agency two days later. He was evaluated for heart issues and returned to his home in Sherwood within three days. The health authority said he did not have COVID-19.”
Critics have suggested Allen’s fall could have been due to alcoholism, namely “binge drinking,” which resulted in a large dent left in his forehead. Others have criticized him due to his lack of apparent personal health fitness and wondered if he has the stamina for the job.