'Kung Flu': Texas Ramen Eatery Covered in Racist Graffiti After Owner Opposed Lifting Mask Mandate

A Texas ramen restaurant was vandalized with racist graffiti on Sunday after its owner spoke out against Republican Governor Greg Abbott's recent decision to lift the state's coronavirus mask mandate.

Mike Nguyen, owner of San Antonio's Noodle Tree restaurant, told local news that red graffiti was found on the windows of his eatery on Sunday as he arrived to open the shop. "Due to an incident we will be opening at 1pm," the Noodle Tree wrote on Facebook this morning.

Photos shared to Facebook showed racist graffiti in red ink on the windows of the restaurant, including the words, "No Mask," "Kung Flu," "Commie," "Hope U Die" and "Ramen Noodle Flu."

Log into Facebook to start sharing and connecting with your friends, family, and people you know.

The incident came four days after Nguyen appeared on CNN to publicly oppose Abbott's decision to end the state's mask mandate.

"I will say that the governor doesn't have us Texans' interest at play at this point," the restaurant owner said during the interview. "I think it's more of a personal interest, I think the decision to drop the mask mandate is selfish and cowardly and there's no reason to do it. Dropping the mask mandate will not help the economy, it will not help us open and a lot of us feel that he's putting a lot of us in danger."

On March 2, Abbott issued an executive order lifting the mask mandate and increasing capacity of all businesses in the state to 100 percent amid a steady decline in COVID-19 cases.

"With the medical advancements of vaccines and antibody therapeutic drugs, Texas now has the tools to protect Texans from the virus," Abbott said in a press release. "We must now do more to restore livelihoods and normalcy for Texans by opening Texas 100 percent. Make no mistake, COVID-19 has not disappeared, but it is clear from the recoveries, vaccinations, reduced hospitalizations, and safe practices that Texans are using that state mandates are no longer needed."

Nguyen explained his decision to publicly oppose Abbott's order in a statement shared to Facebook after his interview on CNN.

"I had some hesitation doing my interview today with CNN [because] of the potential backlash I could face, but it needed to be said," he wrote. "We are Texans and what we do, especially in San Antonio, is have each other [sic] backs during times of need."

Nguyen added: "We do the right thing. Our governor has betrayed us but that doesn't mean we have to follow him blindly. Today we show the whole country that we aren't a joke that the governor has made us to be. We can stand United and do what's right because we are Texas, we are Texas ya'll."

Newsweek reached out to the Noodle Tree for additional information.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announces the reopening of more Texas businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic at a press conference at the Texas State Capitol in Austin on Monday, May 18, 2020. Lynda M. Gonzalez/Getty Images