The Chinese surveillance balloon that entered US airspace on January 28 was known to the Biden administration for nearly a week before the news of it broke on Thursday, February 2, with the White House trying to keep its presence a secret as to not disrupt Secretary of State Antony Blinken's scheduled trip to China, which ended up being postponed after the public's discovery of the balloon.
According to Bloomberg, "As it turns out, US authorities were well aware of the unidentified object that had entered American airspace on Jan. 28, that had then left and re-entered over North Idaho on Tuesday. But with such a high-profile trip at stake, keeping it on the down-low was key."
US Military officials had tracked the balloon as it crossed Canadian airspace and entered America's sovereign skies on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin updated Joe Biden on the balloon, but the two military brass could not agree on whether to shoot the foreign surveillance craft down or not.
Biden made the choice to keep the balloon's flight over US soil a secret as Blinken was scheduled to visit China on Sunday, reports Bloomberg who spoke with "several officials briefed on the matter."
Jack Posobiec tweeted, "We now know: The Biden admin knew about the balloon all along but didn't want to make China mad before Blinken's audience with Xi this weekend. But a Montana newspaper got footage of it and they had to go public."
On Thursday, Montana's local Billings Gazette published pictures of the balloon, a story that then went viral.
Chase Doak tweeted video on Thursday and wrote, "Not gonna lie First, I thought this was a #ufo. Then, I thought it was @elonmusk in a Wizard of Oz cosplay scenario. But it was just a run-of-the-mill Chinese spy balloon."
Blinken announced his trip to China was postponed on Friday.
ALX posted, "Biden was aware of the Chinese Spy Balloon and said nothing until citizen journalists posted the videos of it on the internet. Common theme for the 'Most Transparent' Administration in history."
Fox News reports that Biden said "we're gonna take care of it" on Saturday and there are plans to shoot it down over the Atlantic.
Posobiec tweeted, "Shooting down the balloon *after* it completes it’s mission is exactly what you’d expect Biden to do if he needed to ask Xi’s permission first."
CNN reports, the FAA has issued ground stops for 3 airports in the Carolinas for a "national security effort."
According to the New York Post, Staten Island Representative Nicole Malliotakis said, "Communist China’s surveillance balloon violates international law and threatens our homeland."
"It's an outrage that the Biden Administration spotted this balloon days ago as it was flying over the Aleutian Islands and did nothing about it," Malliotakis said. "The president has not even made a comment about this unacceptable act of aggression by the CCP."
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