Missouri Gov. Mike Parson still hasn’t heard anything from the Biden administration about a Chinese surveillance balloon that has drifted over Missouri airspace in its eastward path across the United States, a Parson staffer confirmed to The Epoch Times late in the afternoon on Feb. 3.
“We have received zero communication from the Biden Administration regarding reports of the suspected Chinese spy balloon now flying over Missouri,” Parson wrote on Twitter on the afternoon of Feb. 3.
“We have heard no explanation or plan to remove it. Why has this been allowed to reach our heartland? Why has it not been eliminated?” he added.
The National Weather Service (NWS) in Kansas City posted that same day photographs of a balloon seen in the area on Twitter, writing, “We have confirmed that it is not an NWS weather balloon.”
Parson’s comment comes as Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has called for an investigation into the object and its appearance by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
“This is a gross violation of American sovereignty,” Hawley wrote in a letter to the committee’s chair, Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.)
“This is a matter of homeland security, and we should hear from senior members of the Biden Administration to understand their response, or lack thereof, so far.”
A staffer for Hawley did not confirm whether the lawmaker has been in communication with the Biden White House.
The Epoch Times has also reached out to Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.) and the White House.
‘Debris Field’ Cited in Decision Not to Shoot It Down
The balloon was previously seen over Montana, the site of multiple nuclear silos. Before that it passed over Alaska’s Aleutian Islands and Canada.
Defense Department spokesperson Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said on Feb. 3 that the balloon, spotted over Montana on Feb. 2, would likely remain over the United States for multiple days.
A senior defense official on Feb. 2 told reporters that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other top defense leadership convened Feb. 1 to discuss the proper course of action regarding the balloon.
The official said the group arrived at a “strong recommendation” not to shoot it down “due to the risk to safety and security of people on the ground from the possible debris field.”
“Instances of this kind of balloon activity have been observed previously over the past several years,” the official said, adding that the United States had been monitoring the balloon “for some time.”
“It has happened a handful of other times over the past few years, to include before this administration.”
China has said the object is not meant to spy on the United States.
“It is a civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological, purposes,” reads a statement from the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC’s) Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The statement went on to claim that winds and the craft’s “limited self-steering capability” led it to “[deviate] far from its planned course.”
The Pentagon disagrees.
“We are aware of the PRC statement. The fact is we know it is a surveillance balloon,” Ryder told reporters on Feb. 3.