The Biden administration’s response to a suspected Chinese spy balloon floating in U.S. airspace has sparked a flurry of criticism from both sides of the political aisle. On Saturday, the U.S. military confirmed that the balloon had been shot down over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of South Carolina, but not before it had spent multiple days in the air.
The incident has prompted a heated debate about the President’s handling of the situation and whether the balloon was allowed to complete its mission before being shot down. The White House had initially said that President Joe Biden would not shoot down the suspected Chinese spy balloon, despite calls from lawmakers and others.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin claimed that the President chose to wait to shoot down the surveillance balloon “as soon as the mission could be accomplished without undue risk to American lives under the balloon’s path.” This has led to criticism from conservatives on Twitter who have dubbed the incident a “Biden fail” and accused the administration of allowing the balloon to collect data before being shot down.
Popular pro-Trump influencer @DC_Draino tweeted, “We have an almost trillion dollar defense budget and Biden let a Chinese balloon spy on our entire country before popping it.” PragerU’s CJ Pearson added, “Shooting a spy balloon down after 24+ hours is like locking your door after your home has already been burglarized.”
ACTforAmerica founder Brigitte Gabriel rebuked the Biden administration for the incident, stating, “Joe Biden let the spy balloon fly across the country and collect whatever information it needed, then he shot it down.”
The U.S. government has confirmed that the balloon and its surveillance equipment are potentially recoverable. This has only added to the controversy surrounding the incident, with many accusing the Biden administration of allowing the balloon to complete its mission before finally being destroyed.
Though the U.S. military is confident that the vehicle was from the People’s Republic of China, the country has maintained that the balloon is civilian and that some in the U.S. are “hyping it up to attack and smear China.”
No matter which side of the debate you find yourself on, one thing is certain: the suspected Chinese spy balloon has sparked a heated debate about the Biden administration’s handling of the situation and whether the balloon was allowed to complete its mission before finally being destroyed.