A mystery has been unfolding in the skies above America. On Saturday morning, a suspected Chinese spy balloon was spotted hovering over Charlotte, North Carolina, and now the President of the United States has weighed in. President Biden has declared that the United States will “take care of it.”
The balloon, which China claims is a civilian reconnaissance airship that inadvertently drifted off course, has been tracked by the U.S. Department of Defense as it makes its way across the country. Photos shared by the National Weather Service in Kansas City, Missouri, show the balloon, which was first reported to be hovering over Montana, heading southeast.
The balloon’s presence in U.S. airspace has been called an “unacceptable” violation of United States Sovereignty by senior State and Defense Department officials. In response, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has indefinitely postponed a trip to China to meet President Xi Jinping.
Republicans, including Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte, have demanded that Biden shoot the balloon down and accused the president of being weak towards China. However, U.S. officials have cautioned that the balloon is flying at 60,000 ft., is roughly the size of three greyhound buses and is carrying heavy surveillance equipment – they say shooting it down could cause American civilian casualties on the ground.
President Biden has been briefed on the situation and asked for military options to deal with the balloon. He may order the balloon shot down once it becomes safe to do so. In the meantime, the mystery of the Chinese spy balloon continues to unfold.