President Joe Biden spoke publicly about the unknown objects shot down over the United States and Canada. One was shot down off the coast of Alaska, another was shot down over the Yukon territory in Canada, and one was shot down over Lake Huron. Efforts to recover the debris have been hampered due to inclement weather and the remote locations where the objects crashed.
President Biden said that he decided to order the military to shoot down the objects because they posed a potential threat to civilian aircraft. In addition, intelligence analysts could not "rule out the surveillance risk of sensitive facilities."
Biden also said that U.S. intelligence officials do not believe those three objects were related to a Chinese surveillance balloon that was shot down over the Atlantic Ocean. Instead, they were likely being operated by private companies or research institutions.
"Nothing right now suggests that they were related to China's spy balloon program or that they were surveillance vehicles from other — any other country," Biden said in remarks from the White House. "The intelligence community's current assessment is that these three ones were most likely balloons tied to private companies, recreation or research institutions studying weather or conducting other scientific research."
In response to the recent incursions into U.S. airspace, Biden said he has tasked Secretary of State Antony Blinken to work with world leaders to "establish common global norms in this largely unregulated space." He also said that government officials will review and update rules and regulations that involved flying unmanned objects above the United States.
"These steps will lead to safer and more secure skies for our air travelers, our military, our scientists, and for people on the ground as well," Biden said.