On Saturday President Biden revealed that he gave the order for the Chinese surveillance balloon to be shot down “as soon as possible.”
Biden told reporters in Hagerstown, Md. On Wednesday after he had been briefed on the situation he had told the Pentagon that they needed to bring the balloon down as swiftly as possible. However, there were a lot of concerns over the possible dangers that could have been brought by the balloon being shot down overland. This is why national security officials decided that it would be best for the balloon to be shot down when it was over water.
On Saturday afternoon the balloon was shot down near the coast of South Carolina, after spending a few days traveling across the U.S.
Biden praised the aviators who successfully shot the Chinese balloon down.
In a statement, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin confirmed that the decision to bring the balloon down had been authorized by the President and that the balloon had been brought down the moment that they could shoot it down without endangering American lives.
Austin said that following Biden’s direction they made sure to take the balloon down over “our territorial waters.”He added that prior to that they had closely monitored all activities relating to the balloon. He further noted that the action taken is further proof that President Biden and his national security team would always work to ensure that the American people were safe and secure.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) praised Biden’s decision and his move that helped “ensure safety for all Americans.”