The U.S. military shot down the Chinese spy balloon on Saturday that traveled thousands of miles across the country after President Joe Biden refused to shoot it down over land.
U.S. officials have launched a recovery effort to collect the debris from the downed spy balloon in U.S. waters in the Atlantic Ocean.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) closed several airports in North and South Carolina and nearby airspace in conjunction with the U.S. military effort.
Biden has taken heavy criticism for his decision to let the spy balloon fly over the U.S. for thousands of miles when many officials say that he should have shot it down over Montana or over Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.
“What the Pentagon has said was we didn’t want to shoot it down because of the chances of civilian casualties. This is a balloon that didn’t get here overnight. It was over the Aleutian chain, which is one of the most sparsely populated places on the planet,” Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) said. “In Montana, Petroleum County, for example… the least populated county in the lower 48, I guarantee you, the fine citizens of Petroleum County would enjoy having it shot down over their county, and probably there would be a line to shoot it down.”