Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), the chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, has raised a red flag over a high-altitude balloon from China that is traveling over the continental United States. Comer has speculated that the balloon could be carrying “bioweapons” and has criticized the Biden administration for not shooting it down before it reached U.S. territory.
The Chinese government has confirmed that the balloon is theirs, and they have stated that it is a civilian airship meant primarily for meteorological research. In response to the situation, Secretary of State Antony Blinken postponed a scheduled trip to China, citing a “clear violation of our sovereignty as well as international law.”
Comer has expressed concern that the federal government does not know what is in the balloon and has described the situation as “another sign of weakness” on the international stage from the Biden administration. He has also speculated that the balloon could have been sent from Wuhan, the Chinese city where the COVID-19 virus was first discovered.
The U.S. has not shot down the balloon over safety concerns, but Comer has argued that it should not have been allowed to cross into the airspace of the continental U.S. in the first place. As the situation continues to unfold, it remains to be seen how the Biden administration will respond.