Top House Republican Asks if Chinese Balloon Took Off 'From Wuhan'


The news that an alleged Chinese surveillance balloon is hovering over parts of the continental United States has sparked a lot of questions.

What is it doing? Where is it going? Will the Pentagon allow it to continue floating around the country?

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) raised a few more questions on Fox News on Friday.

Host Harris Faulkner noted the balloon is believed to be about the “size of three buses.”

Comer raised concerns the incident will be “another example of the Biden administration’s weakness on the national scale.”

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“We have China clearly playing games with the United States,” he continued. “This balloon never should have been allowed to cross over the pacific coast into the United States — never should have happened. My concern is that the federal government obviously doesn’t know what’s in that balloon. Is that bioweapons [sic] in that balloon? Did that balloon take off from Wuhan?”

His question refers to Wuhan, China, where the first cases of COVID-19 were detected.

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Comer went on, “We don’t know anything about that balloon.”

“But the fact that this balloon was slowly making its way to the United States for several days, and this administration never alerted anyone about the possibility of this balloon coming over to the United States is very concerning. It’s very concerning they didn’t shoot it out of the air before it even reached the continental United States,” he added.

Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder revealed on Thursday, “The United States government has detected and is tracking a high-altitude surveillance balloon that is over the continental United States right now.”

“The balloon is currently traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic and does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground. Instances of this kind of balloon activity have been observed previously over the past several years,” he added. “Once the balloon was detected, the U.S. government acted immediately to protect against the collection of sensitive information.”

The balloon was hovering over Montana on Thursday, and Pentagon officials considered shooting it down. However, there were concerns debris could hit people on the ground.

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Ryder told reporters on Friday the balloon was hovering at about 60,000 feet. He added it is “maneuverable.”

China claims the object is a “civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological, purposes” that has “limited self-steering capability” and “deviated far from its planned course.”

A spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry said, “The Chinese side regrets the unintended entry of the airship into U.S. airspace due to force majeure. The Chinese side will continue communicating with the U.S. side and properly handle this unexpected situation caused by force majeure.”

When asked why the Pentagon is convinced it is a surveillance balloon, Ryder said, “We know that it’s a surveillance balloon, and I’m not gonna be able to be more specific than that.”

He added it could be in the country for several more days.

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