- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2020

KIRKLAND, N.M. (AP) - A New Mexico restaurant that sparked anger for erecting a sign that blamed China for the pandemic has had its food service permit suspended.

The Farmington Daily Times reports the New Mexico Environment Department suspended the food service permit last week for the Country Family Restaurant after accusing the Kirtland, New Mexico, restaurant of violating statewide health orders.

That order prohibits indoor dining and requires workers to wear masks.

Country Family Restaurant owner Steve Jackson told The Daily Times the state has not shown any proof that indoor dining increases the spread of COVID-19.

In March, Jackson generated anger for posting a sign blaming China for the coronavirus.

“CLOSED you can thank CHINA!!!” the sign read outside the Country Family Restaurant.

“I stuck up that little-bitty sign that explained my thoughts about the communist Chinese government and the way they treat their people,” Jackson said.

Former Navajo Nation Attorney General Harrison Tsosie said he would never eat at the place again and urged other members of the Navajo Nation to avoid it.

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