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 February 5, 2023

Former defense secretary warns Chinese spy balloon may have had a 'biological component'

William Cohen, the former U.S. Defense Secretary, has raised the possibility that the Chinese spy balloon that recently floated over the United may have had a "biological component" to it. 

Cohen did so during an appearance Friday on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360. 

There, Cooper asked Cohen, "Secretary Cohen, if this was an Iranian balloon or a North Korean balloon, would we have reacted the same way?"

Cohen expressed his opinion that "we would have," and he went on to explain why.

Cohen said:

The first thing we need to do is, number one, is the balloon a military or security threat, but number two, can we get information out of it before we destroy it? We didn’t know, for example, if it could have contained something within the balloon other than helium that could have posed a threat to us. Do we know if it has any kind of biological component to it? So you want to ask those questions.

Cohen did not specify what he meant by a "biological component." But, concerns have been raised that China could use the balloon to conduct biological warfare by, for example, disseminating a deadly disease or chemical across America.

Thus far, this does not appear to be the case.

China, for its part, has maintained that the balloon was nothing more than a civilian weather balloon that had veered off course. The U.S. Pentagon, however, disputes this.

The Pentagon maintains that the balloon - which traveled over some parts of the U.S. where military assets are located - was used for surveillance and that it was intentionally sent to the United States.

There are still a lot of unknowns about the situation.

But, what is known is that President Joe Biden and his administration allowed the balloon to float all the way across America before finally deciding to shoot the balloon down over the Atlantic ocean.

Now, it appears that the U.S. military is going to try to recover what's left of the balloon. The Pentagon is hopeful that the United States may be able to learn something from it.

But, the question that many Americans have is whether the Biden administration's inaction allowed China to complete its mission - whatever that mission happened to be. The answer is unclear.

China has put out a statement, following the downing of the balloon, saying that it "strongly disapproves of and protests against the U.S. attack on a civilian unmanned airship by force."

Written By:
Robert Ayers

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