DEVELOPING STORY: The Chinese balloon that has flown over the United States the past two days was shot down by a U.S. missile Saturday off the coast of South Carolina.
The balloon that the Pentagon says it knows was a spy balloon, but that the Chinese government said was only a weather balloon that drifted off course was shot down at 2:28 after it had passed over the Myrtle Beach area. It could be seen on video suddenly popping with a wisps of smoke and beginning to fall.
“The balloon should have been shot down before it crossed the continental United States, not after. We still don’t know what information was collected and where it was sent,” said Senator Tim Scott (R-SC). “This was a dereliction of Biden’s duty, and let’s hope the American people don’t pay a price.”
Departures from and arrivals to three U.S. airports has been paused while the Federal Aviation Administration issues a ground stop to “support the Department of Defense in a national security effort.”
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“Three airports in North & South Carolina are CLOSED because of the Chinese Spy Balloon. How is this allowed to happen? This balloon should’ve been SHOT DOWN immediately after entering our airspace. Joe Biden is letting China HUMILIATE us,” Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) wrote on Twittter.
A senior U.S. official told Fox News on Saturday that the government was considering a plan to shoot the balloon down while it’s over the Atlantic Ocean where it wouldn’t harm any individuals on the ground.
The official added that the U.S. government could potentially recover the balloon.
“On the balloon, I ordered the Pentagon to shoot it down on Wednesday as soon as possible [for safety] … they successfully took it down,” President Biden said.
🚨 BREAKING: The U.S. has shot down the Chinese Spy Balloon off of the coast of the Carolinas.— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) February 4, 2023
More video of the “balloon” being shot down over Myrtle Beach. pic.twitter.com/JUOt7AMTnQ— Tracy Beanz (@tracybeanz) February 4, 2023