WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden will speak at 2 p.m. ET on Thursday about the nation’s “response” to the four aerial targets that have been shot down in recent weeks, the White House said.

Biden has faced mounting pressure from Republicans and Democrats to address the nation over an alleged Chinese spy balloon and three other unidentified objects that were shot down in North American airspace earlier this month.

His statements on Thursday will be the first time he has commented extensively on the issue.

According to information from the White House, Biden will make a speech in the South Chamber of the court about “the response of the United States to recent aerial targets.”

The balloon, which crossed the continental United States between January 28 and February 4, added to tensions in already strained relations between the United States and China. Republicans criticized Biden for not taking action to shoot down the balloon sooner, although he said he had ordered it down as soon as possible, but his military advisers said it was too risky to do so over land.

Since then, three unidentified aerial objects have been shot down by the US military in three consecutive days – one over Alaska, one over Canada and the third over Lake Huron in Michigan.

The administration has yet to confirm what the objects were or where they came from, although White House press secretary John Kirby said earlier this week that the “leading explanation” in the intelligence community is that the objects could have been intended for commercial or benign use.

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