Nearly a year after the Chinese spy balloon was shot down over the Atlantic a former US official has revealed that the Biden administration attempted to conceal the balloon from public knowledge, according to a new report.
According to NBC News, when the Chinese spy balloon was spotted in the sky last January, a former official in the Biden administration said the government had "the intention to study it and let it pass over and not ever tell anyone about it."
A previously unreported phone call on Jan. 27 between Air Force Gen. Glen VanHerck and Gen. Mark Milley revealed there was an eight-day-long fiasco within the Biden White House over what to do with the balloon.
Soon after the phone call the US military confirmed that it was a Chinese spy balloon outfitted with surveillance equipment.
President Biden was informed only on Jan. 31, several days after the balloon had been spotted and confirmed to be coming from China. Soon thereafter, reports broke about the balloon seen over Montana on Feb. 2.
After the balloon had been spotted by the media, calls from the public insisted that it be shot down. One demand came from former President Trump on his Truth Social where he posted, "Shoot down the balloon."
News of the balloon sparked frustration with other Republican lawmakers who were not briefed on it until after the reports. The reports came just as Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was preparing to visit Beijing.
China issued an apology about the balloon saying that it was only a civilian weather vessel that had drifted off course and told the US, "The Chinese side regrets the unintended entry of the airship into U.S. airspace due to force majeure."
The balloon was able to gather information and transmit it back to China before the US took action to shoot it down, "despite the Biden administration’s efforts to block it from doing so," one Biden official said at the time.
Nearly a year later, on December 18, State Department Spokesman Matthew Miller called on the United Nations-controlled International Civil Aviation Organization, to "prioritize work on higher airspace operations, accelerate efforts to identify solutions for manned and unmanned aviation traffic in that airspace, and use the coming year to advance important technical work in this area."
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