A senior Pentagon official reported that the chinese spy balloon that was discovered flying over U.S. territory is fully maneuverable, and announced that it is expected to remain over the country for the next few days. It appears that the Biden administration will allow the object to continue its course unimpeded.
At a press conference, Brigadier General and Defense Department spokesman Pat Ryder explained that the drone that flew over the nuclear silos in the state of Montana has a "large payload underneath the surveillance component."
Although the official did not provide a specific current location of the balloon, he said it is heading east, but is changing hourly and added that it is at about 60,000 feet.
"I will not be able to go into specific locations other than to say it is moving eastward at this time," he said, after assuring that they found the Chinese regime’s violation of U.S. airspace "unacceptable.”
A Chinese spy balloon casually invading our air space for all to see, conducting day after day of espionage in broad daylight undisturbed, is a stark visual demonstration of Joe Biden’s crippling weakness and our excruciating national humiliation.
— Stephen Miller (@StephenM) February 3, 2023
Not a threat
Ryder said the balloon poses neither a military nor physical threat to U.S. citizens but indicated that it has a surveillance device underneath it "large enough to be of concern if there were a debris field."
"We know this is a Chinese balloon and it has the ability to maneuver," he announced, explaining that they noticed the device change course.
If u r puzzled by Biden admin passive reaction to Chinese spy balloon hovering over our military bases that makes 2 of us Glad Scty Blinken postponed his trip but r we really going 2 just let it sail all the way across U.S.??? Need strong response 2 this provocation
— Chuck Grassley (@ChuckGrassley) February 3, 2023
Biden decides not to shoot down the balloon
Despite China's violation of U.S. airspace with the spy balloon, President Joe Biden opted not to shoot it down, asserting that the decision was based on "strong" recommendations made to him by defense officials.
"We are tracking closely and keeping all options on the table," said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
🚨BREAKING: I’m calling for an investigation and demanding answers from the Biden Admin. on why a Chinese spy balloon was allowed to hover over critical military infrastructure in Missouri and across the interior of the U.S. without any intervention. pic.twitter.com/c25ZEGKpWC
— Eric Schmitt (@Eric_Schmitt) February 3, 2023
However, Republicans point out that while the balloon is allowed to remain in the air, it is gathering more information, so Biden should act immediately.
"Biden’s refusal to stop it is a dereliction of duty," said Texas Governor Greg Abbott.