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Biden says the 3 aerial objects shot down were not Chinese spy balloons

President Biden walks across the South Lawn upon return to the White House on Thursday.
Mandel Ngan
AFP via Getty Images
President Biden walks across the South Lawn upon return to the White House on Thursday.

President Biden is set to give a speech on Thursday afternoon to publicly address the recent unidentified aerial objects that have been shot down by the U.S. military.

Biden is expected to speak on the U.S. response to objects over the last several days as well as the handling of a spy balloon that was shot down on Feb. 4, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters during a press briefing.

Biden is expected to speak at 2 p.m. ET. Watch his remarks live below.

The public address comes after lawmakers called on Biden to provide Americans with more information about the four objects shot down this month.

The first object was a surveillance balloon deployed by China, which the administration has called a "violation of U.S. airspace" and "irresponsible action." The other objects have not been publicly identified, and recovery efforts are underway, but the White House has ruled out the possibility of aliens.

Lawmakers want more information

Senators on the Hill received a classified briefing on Tuesday following questions about the succession of objects being shot down over one weekend. But even after the briefing, lawmakers from both parties have been asking forBiden to publicly address the objects to reassure the American people that there is no active threat. Others were not impressed with the information they received.

In an interview with All Things Considered, Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said she did not find the Biden administration's all-Senate classified briefing "very informative."

"I do not believe that the administration has been sufficiently transparent. Now, to be fair to the administration, they are still gathering information. They're still trying to recover debris from the second, third and fourth objects that were ... shot down, and I encourage them to be more forthcoming — once they have recovered and analyzed the debris," Collins said, adding that the administration should have been better at coordinating communication between Congress as the Chinese spy balloon flew over specific states earlier this month.

Crews were able to retrieve parts of the balloon, including the priority sensor, electronic parts and large sections of the object.

This story will be updated.

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Ximena Bustillo
Ximena Bustillo is a multi-platform reporter at NPR covering politics out of the White House and Congress on air and in print.
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