President Biden on Thursday will break his silence and make public remarks about the alleged Chinese spy balloon and three other unidentified flying objects that have been shot down over North America this month.
The White House had been weighing whether to publicly address the strange incidents, and pressure has mounted from lawmakers and the public to address the situation. Mr. Biden has been tight-lipped about the incidents, with national security spokesman John Kirby serving as the administration’s face on the issue.
The Biden administration has not confirmed any details about the objects, although White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre insisted this week they are not of extraterrestrial or alien origin.
The only time Mr. Biden directly discussed any of the objects was on Friday, when he hailed a military operation to shoot down an object over Alaska as “a success.”
Since Mr. Biden last spoke on the issue, F-22 and F-16 fighter jets shot down two more high-altitude, low-speed objects.
He has been widely criticized for his silence.
“The administration has still not been able to divulge any meaningful information about what was shot down. What is going on?” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said on the Senate floor. “What are we shooting down and where did they come from? Whether they are hostile or not, is there coherent guidance about when to shoot them down?”